Remember to Drive Safely as School Year Begins

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) always encourages safe driving, but it is especially important to be safe and vigilant during the school year.

There are several ways motorists can make roadways a safe place for everyone during the school year:

  • Be alert and watch for children, especially near schools, bus stops, school buses, and in school parking lots.
  • Pay extra attention and follow 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.
  • Slow down and prepare to stop when approaching a school bus with yellow flashing lights.
  • Stop when approaching a school bus with its STOP arms extended and red flashing lights.
  • Never pass a school bus with flashing lights, STOP arms extended, loading or unloading children from either direction unless driving in the opposite direction of the bus when on a divided highway.

With school starting back soon, motorists must stay alert in work zones as well. Children and buses travel through road construction sites, including bridges, highways, and local road projects.

When traveling through school and work zones – put down your phone. In Florida, it is a primary offense to handle a wireless communication device while operating a vehicle in a school or work zone. You can be stopped and fined for simply having a phone in your hand.

Other things to avoid in school zones include:

  • Changing lanes
  • U-turns
  • Passing other vehicles
  • Blocking crosswalks
  • Loading or unloading children across the street from schools

By being alert and taking the necessary precautions, motorists can make the school year a safer one for both students and other motorists.

For more back-to-school safety tips, visit