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Back to school safety

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Roadways will be a little more crowded beginning Aug. 10, as Marion County public schools open their doors to students for the new school year. The Florida Department of Transportation has designated August as Back to School Safety Month, and the Office of the County Engineer provides safety tips to increase roadway safety in and around school zones.

Adults, be alert.
Add time back into your commute for the slower speeds in school zones on your route, particularly during the first few weeks of the school year.
- Look out for children biking or walking, especially as you approach intersections and school crossings.
- Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and for school buses displaying a stop signal.
- Watch for changes in traffic patterns that may have occurred over the summer.
- Don’t use phones while driving.
- Teach kids to report bullying.

Students, be careful.
- Keep your head up, phone down and never get in a vehicle with strangers.
- Pay attention while walking to school or the bus stop.
- If riding a bike, wear a helmet and walk your bike through crosswalks.
- Use sidewalks when possible and stay out of the road completely.
- Obey the instructions of school crossing guards and officers stationed along your route.
- If you need to cross the road, always look left, right and left again before leaving the sidewalk.
- Ride only your assigned bus.
- Tell an adult if you see someone being bullied or know someone has a weapon at school.