Slow Down for School Zones
School is back in session, so motor vehicle operators need to be more aware than ever of School Zone signs. This daycare is within site of Homestead Air Reserve Base, and is open year-round, regardless of whether or not it is summer. (US Air Force Photo/Mr. Ian Carrier)
by Ian Carrier
482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
8/25/2011 - HOMESTEAD AIR RESERVE BASE, Fla. -- The time of year has rolled around again when the streets are filled with yellow busses and children excited to start a new school year.
During the summer, we get used to the quicker commutes and the ease of travel without a bus stopping in front of us every few blocks. We get used to certain routes and we blow past School Zone signs without giving it a second thought.
It's time to think. Kids are back in class learning to be our future teachers, doctors and leaders. Not only are School Zone signs in place to protect them, it's the law to obey them.
The following is an excerpt from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles website: Take a guess at the biggest fine you can get for speeding. Think it's $200 or $300, not even close. Fines are doubled for speeding in a construction or school zone. Get caught speeding more than 30 mph over the speed limit in a school or construction zone and the fine is $555.50.
If the money isn't enough of an incentive to slow down, think of this; we all represent the Air Force, the military and the government to our neighbors outside the gate. Our negative actions affect the way we are viewed unfortunately sometimes more than our positive actions. There is a school zone on the approach to the front gate of the base. Next time you drive through it, set an example to the other drivers around you. Think of it as serving your country without having to leave it.
Here are some safety tips:
· When children are present, slow down and proceed with caution
· Be alert and ready to stop
· Watch for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks
· Watch for children playing and gathering near bus stops
· Watch for children arriving late for school, who may dart into the street without looking for traffic
· When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking to school
· When driving in neighborhoods or school zones, watch for children who may be in a hurry to get to school and may not be thinking about getting there safely
Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks; motorists must yield to them when turning.