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School’s Back. So Are Walking Children in a Town Short of Sidewalks. Watch Where You Drive.

| August 23, 2010

back to school safety traffic crashes pedestrians

Take it seriously.

In 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,378 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents. Of those, 270, or 6 percent, were children 14 and under. Some 13,000 children in that age group were injured in 2008. Among children age 5 to 9, some 78 children were killed because of inattention (drivers’ or pedestrians’). Some 4,000 children in that same age group were also injured that year.

Today, 56 million students across the United States, and 13,000 in Flagler County, went back to school.

Flagler County Sheriff Donald W. Fleming issued a reminder to motorists to stay alert for increased bicycle and pedestrian traffic, especially in Palm Coast, where sidewalks are still chronically few and drivers generally older–which can mean slower reflexes.

“We will have traffic along with patrol units in and around the school zones to keep the youngsters safe as they travel to and from school,” Fleming said.

The sheriff’s office is reminding motorists that school zones are marked by flashing yellow lights and posted speeds are 20 miles per hour. Seven crossing guards also will be posted at several schools, so drivers should be aware of pedestrians and avoid blocking the crosswalks. The crossing guards and their postings: The seven crossing guards will be assigned at the following schools: Belle Terre Elementary (one), Buddy Taylor Middle and Wadsworth Elementary (two), Bunnell Elementary (one), Indian Trails Middle (two), and Rymfire Elementary (one).

There will be a noticeable increase in pedestrian and bicycle traffic due to the elimination of bus transportation within one mile of school for kindergarten to 6th grade students. Middle school and high school students living within two miles of their school will have no bus transportation.

“Everyone needs to allow for a little extra time to travel through these school zones. Motorists also should be aware that youngsters will be riding and walking to school, so be extra cautious in your own neighborhoods as you travel to and from your homes,” Fleming said.

Motorists should also be aware that a “No Turn On Red” traffic control device has been posted at the intersection of Bird of Paradise and Belle Terre Parkway. The illuminated lights will be in effect during active school zone times.

School buses will be rolling out each morning and afternoon, so motorists should be alert for school bus stops. The fine for passing a school bus with its red lights flashing is $206 and three points on the motorist’s driver’s license.

Fleming is asking parents to remind their children to stand off the roadways as they wait for their bus. When children return home, they should get off the bus and head home, being careful to walk on the correct side of the street.

“If we all follow basic safety tips, our students should have a safe school year,” the Sheriff said.

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3 Responses for “School’s Back. So Are Walking Children in a Town Short of Sidewalks. Watch Where You Drive.”

  1. Devrie says:

    I know that the transporation issue is complicated, and that parents have some responsibility to pick their children up from school, but it seems wild that there could be kindergarteners walking almost a mile to get home from school.

  2. Concerned says:

    I’m wondering how many parents walk across the street to get to Old Kings Elementary. There are people parking at the Vet, Fitness One and Sunshine Academy to walk their kids to school, meanwhile the city has not provided a crosswalk there. Interesting…

  3. true story says:

    there wont be a crosswalk until someone get hit/killed

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