Ask Trooper Steve: Tips to stay visible while walking to school

News 6 traffic safety expert shares suggestions for students commuting

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions and shares tips about the rules of the road, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

As students return to the classrooms this week, Trooper Steve is sharing some tips for those walking or even riding their bicycle to school.

“We currently rank number one in the country when it comes to these types of crashes. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. All of these are 100% avoidable. But to stop these types of crashes both drivers and pedestrian type commuters need to work together,” he said.

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Trooper Steve advised always using a sidewalk when there is one available, even to students who are riding their bicycle to school.

“Staying as far away from vehicles is obviously the number one way to avoid any type of crash with them,” Trooper Steve said.

He also suggested getting creative when it comes to being visible to drivers and said many department stores sell a variety of reflective clothing and accessories.

“Now, I’m not saying you need to dress like a construction worker if you’re headed to school. But what I am saying is that a highly visible or reflective-type straps could easily be placed around your waist or backpack to be seen during those early morning hours,” Trooper Steve said. ”You can easily even attach a bicycle light to a backpack, also. I know this is the best fashion advice but then again, I am not preparing you for the cover of Vogue but trying to keep you from getting crushed by a car.”

The more people walking together, the easier it is to be seen when everyone is doing their part to remain visible. Trooper Steve said students should walk in groups whenever possible.

“As a pedestrian or a bicyclist, always take the extra step to be careful. What I mean by this is don’t ever assume the driver sees you. Wait that extra second before maybe walking into a crosswalk. As a bicyclist, ensure that you are riding with the flow of traffic and not against traffic,” he said.

Trooper Steve reminded everyone that there are rules and traffic laws that apply to walking and biking along the road.

“Follow them to the T. I am not trying to sound like a stickler here but when we have crashes that occur every single day here, it starts to hurt knowing so many of these could have been avoided. Simple steps can lead to huge results,” he said.

About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.