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Slow down, and watch for kids
By TIMES STAFF
Published August 20, 2007
The 2007-08 school year starts today in Hernando, and with children at bus stops across the county, and more traffic around schools, law enforcement and school district officials say it's a good time to remind motorists of some safety tips and rules of the road. Here are a few things to remember:
Illegal Passing of Buses
With few exceptions, motorists must stop for any school bus with flashing red lights and a stop sign deployed. The fine for failing to stop for a school bus is $158.50.
If you are on a road divided by a raised or grassy median of least 5 feet and you are going in the opposite direction of a bus, you do not have to stop.
Also, motorists do not have to stop if they are in a lane beside a school bus when the bus stops to open its door at a railroad crossing, according to Linda Smith, director of school transportation.
School Safety Zones
School safety zones are in effect on school days, with reduced speed limits when lights are flashing. Deputies will be monitoring these areas closely and will have zero tolerance for violators.
Bus Stop Safety
Be alert as you drive through neighborhoods because young children will be waiting for buses in the morning and walking home from bus stops in the afternoon.
"Young children may not be aware of you, but you need to be aware of them," Smith said.
Have a back-to-school question? Most questions can be answered by calling your child's school. If that doesn't work, try the school district headquarters at 797-7000. School bus routes and pickup times are available online at www.hcsb.k12.fl.us/transportation/index.htm. Expect buses to run later than scheduled during the first week of school while administrators and drivers take extra time to ensure that children are on the correct bus. For bus information, call the district transportation office at 797-7003.