TAVARES — The Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST), a multi-jurisdictional agency with cooperation between Lake County, its municipalities, law enforcement agencies and concerned citizens, is offering motorists, parents and students a collection of safety tips from the Florida Department of Transportation to help make the upcoming school year, which starts on Monday, Aug. 24 in Lake County, as safe as possible.
• With increased traffic, allow extra time to reach a destination.
• Know and obey the law with regard to stopping for school buses that have children loading and unloading.
• Be aware of the speed limit and your speed, especially in school zones and around schools.
• Obey all crossing guard directions.
• Make sure a child's walk to school is along a safe route, with adult crossing guards when possible.
• Be aware of a child's skills. Consider whether a child is ready to walk to school alone.
• If a child is young, or is walking to a new school, walk with them the first week to make sure he or she knows the route and can do it safely.
• All passengers must wear a seat belt or be in an appropriate car safety seat. Motorists and passengers can be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt. Adult drivers are responsible for their passengers under 18.
• Many crashes occur while teen drivers are going to and from school. Require seat belt use by the driver and passengers; limit the number of teen passengers; do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations or texting to prevent driver distraction; limit night driving; and discourage driving in inclement weather.
CHILDREN ON A BIKE
• The law requires children under age 16 to wear a helmet, no matter how long or short the ride.
• Riders should ride on the right; in the same direction as traffic (young children should use sidewalks).
• Know the “rules of the road,” obey traffic lights and stop signs and use appropriate hand signals.
• Wear brightly colored clothing to increase visibility.
• Teach children to be aware of their surroundings.
The Lake County CTST uses a multi-disciplinary approach to solve roadway safety problems in Lake County. The team is comprised of individuals representing engineering, law enforcement, emergency services, traffic-safety education and the public. For more information about the Lake County CTST, call 352-253-9092.