5 Volusia County students hit by cars since start of school year

Number of injured students stuns parents

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Since school started last Monday, five students have been hit by vehicles in Volusia County, the latest occurring Thursday morning outside Heritage Middle School in Deltona.

"Five kids are way too many. One kid is too many.  It just don't make sense," said parent John Ripley.

School officials admit this year is off to a bad start and the number of injured students has them very concerned.

"It's heartbreaking for me because we're striving to educate our students. We started that campaign last October and really beefed it up with a lot of information," Greg Akin, transportation director for Volusia County schools, said on Thursday.

Last year, two students were killed and 27 others were injured in traffic accidents that occurred as they were headed to or from school, prompting the district to ramp up safety education for students and parents.

The district also worked with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office to crack down on careless drivers, a campaign that is ongoing.

"It goes back to our community being distracted and not watching, not following properly the laws of the roadway," Akin said.

Now, parents fear it's a message that's not being heard.

"Making sure students understand what's going on and to stay out of harm's way," Ripley said.

This year, the school district started a safety initiative contest for all its students to create safety PSAs and posters.  The contest a way to reeducate students about how to cross streets safely.

Students are also reminded about safety during morning and afternoon announcements.

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