It’s that time again and a new school year is already upon us. For weeks we’ve been checking items off the back-to-school supply lists and confirming schedules, while our children express their excitement and anticipation of the first school day through social media. Meanwhile, teachers have been setting up their classrooms and preparing lesson plans to take our children to the next level in their education. Some parents will anxiously send their children off to school for the very first time while others have mastered the routine and can already see graduation right around the corner.
The Lake Wales Police Department shares that excitement and is ready to make sure our students are safe and secure.
Students of all ages will be walking to and waiting at bus stops, walking to school or traveling our roads in private transportation. Drivers are urged to pay extra attention during their travels throughout the week and exercise caution due to the increased activity. Be aware of school zones and reduce your speed accordingly, obey school crossing guards, stop for school buses as they load and unload students, slow down near school bus stops and leave a little earlier so you are not rushing to get to your destination.
A common traffic violation that is both dangerous and costly relates to passing a school bus which has stopped to load or unload children. The Florida Statute requires drivers traveling in both directions to stop unless traveling in the opposite direction and the roadway is divided by a barrier such as a median or guard rail. The fine for passing a stopped school bus is $269. Additionally, traffic fines for speeding in a school zone range from $154 to $454 and may even result in a mandatory court appearance.
The Lake Wales Police and Fire Departments will be present at many of the school zones this week to help educate the community, increase safety awareness and conduct traffic enforcement. For the sake of our children, please partner with us by driving safely and paying extra close attention to your surroundings. Working together we can help ensure our students remain safe and secure while they prepare to become tomorrow’s leaders.