For the rest of us whose kids are off at college or grown and starting their own families, we still have to think about back to school too.

No, you won’t find us in the back to school department of a big box store or standing at the bus stop each morning, but for the rest of us, there are safety issues to be aware of now that school is back in session. 

School Zones

We were able to ignore the signs all summer but now the yellow lights around each school are flashing again, and they mean one thing. Slow down and pay attention. Don’t speed past a school during the morning or mid-afternoon. Kids are being dropped off at school, while others are walking and crossing the street. Slowing down might seem like an inconvenience, but it’s meant to keep everyone safe.

Crossing Guards

If you’re driving near a school around 7:30 in the morning or 2:30 in the afternoon, chances are you’re going to see a crossing guard. Keep your eyes open, especially when you’re turning right. They’re doing their job to help everyone get across the busy roads safely, not just kids walking to school. Listen for their whistle, follow their signals, and remember to stay patient.

School Buses

Knowing when to stop for a school bus can get confusing, depending on the road you’re on. If you’re driving down a two-lane road and a school bus stops to pick up or drop off kids, you have to stop - even if you’re going the other direction. When you’re on a divided highway, you only have to stop if you’re headed in the same direction as the bus. Keep going if you’re on the other side, but don’t slide by if you’re in the lane next to a stopped bus.

This time of year, traffic is going to get heavier and everything will slow down until parents, kids, and school bus drivers figure out their routine. Even if you don’t have kids in school now, it’s important to remember that school is back in session and to take your time out on the roads. Our Tampa Bay neighborhoods will be safer because of it.