As the 2019-2020 school year is under way, the Cape Coral Police Department is getting complaints from drivers in various neighborhoods throughout the city about children at bus stops. Most of us are addicted to our cellphones or another electronic device. Children are no different. It might be worse for them. Most adults did not grow up with the internet. They did not have Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. YouTube did not exist. At most bus stops children will have their heads down looking at a cellphone or will have headphones on. They are distracted by technology which can compromise their safety.
As an Officer, I have driven in neighborhoods where there are bus stops and have almost hit children sitting in the roadway. This is a very dangerous situation. The Cape Coral Police Department is urging parents to please talk to their children about the importance of being aware their surroundings.
Do not sit in the roadway
Do not play running games or push and shove at the bus stop. It is dangerous near traffic.
Make sure you stand at least 10 feet (5 giant steps) from the road while waiting for the bus so you are away from traffic.
If your bus stop is on a corner of another person's property, be courteous and never leave litter behind.
Use reflective materials. There are backpacks and clothing with reflective material sewn into it.
When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state, as well as the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341