The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) wants motorists to drive safely on Florida roads as children go back to school in the coming weeks.The school year begins on Tuesday, August 13th here in Collier County.

As children travel to and from school, motorists must ensure they arrive safely by obeying school zone speed limits, remaining attentive around child pedestrians and bicyclists, and properly stopping for school buses.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has school bus safety tips for motorists:

  • Be alert and watch for children especially near schools, bus stops, school buses and in school parking lots.
  • Children on bicycles can be unpredictable and can make sudden changes in direction. Be especially careful when children are present in school zones and residential areas.
  • Pay extra attention to lower speed limits in school zones.
  • Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.
  • Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.
  • Motorists are required to stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and STOP arms extended.
  • All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
  • On a highway divided by a paved median, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
  • The only time traffic approaching an oncoming school bus does not need to stop, is if there is a raised barrier such as a concrete divider or at least five feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic. However, these motorists should slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus.

In addition,starting October 1, 2019, the Wireless Communications While Driving Law will prohibit the use of a wireless communications device in a handheld manner while driving in a designated school crossing, school zone, or active work zone area. The law provides for enforcement only by a warning for this section from October 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, after which a person may be issued a citation.