The beginning of the school year can be overwhelming. There will be parents who are new to our schools and do not know the drop off or pick up traffic routes. This should end after the first week. There are parents who will be parking anywhere they can find a spot. These are the parents we are trying to reach today. Parents, PLEASE do not park on the sidewalks or bicycle paths. It may seem insignificant to you, but there are people who are handicapped that can not “just go around” your parked car. Please do not park your car with any portion of it in the roadway blocking traffic. If it is causing problems and we cannot locate you, you can be towed for obstructing traffic and you can get a ticket. Parking on sidewalks can also damage them. We need the sidewalks that we have to be undamaged and safe for our children and others to walk on.

316.1945 Stopping, standing, or parking prohibited in specified places.—

(1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device, no person shall:

(a) Stop, stand, or park a vehicle:

1. On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street.

2. On a sidewalk.

3. Within an intersection.

4. On a crosswalk.

5. Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless the Department of Transportation indicates a different length by signs or markings.

6. Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic.

7. Upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a highway tunnel.

8. On any railroad tracks.

9. On a bicycle path.

10. At any place where official traffic control devices prohibit stopping.

11. On the roadway or shoulder of a limited access facility, except as provided by regulation of the Department of Transportation, or on the paved portion of a connecting ramp; except that a vehicle which is disabled or in a condition improper to be driven as a result of mechanical failure or crash may be parked on such shoulder for a period not to exceed 6 hours. This provision is not applicable to a person stopping a vehicle to render aid to an injured person or assistance to a disabled vehicle in obedience to the directions of a law enforcement officer or to a person stopping a vehicle in compliance with applicable traffic laws.

12. For the purpose of loading or unloading a passenger on the paved roadway or shoulder of a limited access facility or on the paved portion of any connecting ramp. This provision is not applicable to a person stopping a vehicle to render aid to an injured person or assistance to a disabled vehicle.

(b) Stand or park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger or passengers:

1. In front of a public or private driveway.

2. Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.

3. Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection.

4. Within 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, or traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway.

5. Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station within 75 feet of such entrance (when property signposted).

6. On an exclusive bicycle lane.

7. At any place where official traffic control devices prohibit standing.

(c) Park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except temporarily for the purpose of, and while actually engaged in, loading or unloading merchandise or passengers:

1. Within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing unless the Department of Transportation establishes a different distance due to unusual circumstances.

2. At any place where official signs prohibit parking.

(2) No person shall move a vehicle not lawfully under his or her control into any such prohibited area or away from a curb such a distance as is unlawful.

Another dangerous situation that we have seen over the past couple of years is students getting out of their vehicles while in the car line. Please stay in the vehicle until you have reached the drop off point. It is for the safety of our children that we have a drop off point in front of the schools. If children get out of their vehicles early, there is a good chance that an inattentive driver could possibly hit them. Most drivers in the drop off and pick up lines appear to be in a hurry and already frustrated. Please do not complicate things by not following the rules. We want to see everyone get to school and home from school safely. When my kids were in school, I tried to get there on time the first week. It was tough. To make things easier, I left ten minutes later. When I got to my kid’s school, there was room in the parking lot and the line was not two blocks long.

Follow the state laws, have patience and courtesy for those around you, and we can all have a safer and smoother transition into this new school year. Drive safe!

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REMINDER: If you have traffic concerns, you can submit them here: www.capecops.com/traffic. Your concern will be routed directly to the Traffic Unit for follow-up. Please be as detailed as possible to include things like days of week, times you are seeing the issue, or specific cars (if it is a particular vehicle with which you are having an issue).

About the Author:

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Master Sergeant Patrick O'Grady is a 24-year veteran of law enforcement, assigned to the Office of the Chief of Police. He serves as a Public Affairs Officer for the Cape Coral Police Department and oversees the Public Affairs Office and the Planning and Research Unit.

Master Sergeant O’Grady has previously served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, DUI Officer, Drug Recognition Expert and a Traffic Homicide Investigator. He has also served as a supervisor in the Patrol Bureau over district officers and the Field Training and Evaluation Program. Master Sergeant O’Grady has served in the Special Operations Bureau as a supervisor of the Nighttime Traffic Unit and Major Crash Investigators. He is an instructor for the Cape Coral Police Department on several different topic areas and holds several certifications. Master Sergeant O’Grady holds a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Hodges University.

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CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341