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4 Things to Remember as the Kids Go Back to School

Christina Munkberg

Christina Munkberg Bianca is the Broker, team leader, and top producer for the Munkberg Bianca Group, a Baldwin Park, Orlando-based residential real e...

Christina Munkberg Bianca is the Broker, team leader, and top producer for the Munkberg Bianca Group, a Baldwin Park, Orlando-based residential real e...

Sep 30 4 minutes read

It’s hard to believe, but it’s back-to-school time in Orlando and all around Orange County. Parents and teachers know this means dealing with grumpy, tired, and overly excited kids. Some can’t wait to get to school, and some only go because their parents drag them. Even if you don’t have kids in school yet or anymore, you can’t completely ignore the back to school season.

Here are four things we all need to remember as kids and teachers head back to school in the next few weeks.

1.  Watch for Bus Stops

If you live in a neighborhood with a bus stop (or a few stops), keep your eyes peeled for kids on the sidewalk or the shoulder of the road. Younger children may have their parents with them, but not every child does. They’re going to be busy talking, hanging out, looking at their phone, and not watching the road. 

Because schools are on different schedules, you might see children at bus stops at different times in the morning. High school starts early so be prepared to slow down while driving past bus stops even if you leave before the sun is fully up in the morning.

2. Stop for Buses

The rules for when to stop for a school bus get tricky in large, busy cities. When the stop sign goes out, the flashing lights turn on, and the bus stops, here’s what you need to know:

  • On a two-lane road, both sides of traffic must stop.
  • On a four, six, or eight-lane road, you don’t have to stop if you’re heading in the opposite direction.
  • Do not drive while the lights are flashing and the stop sign is out.
  • Do not pass a bus once their lights begin flashing or when they slow down at a stop. 

When in doubt, slow down and pay attention to what’s going on around you.

3. Watch the Crossing Guards

Not every road has crosswalks or crossing guards, but where you see them, pay attention. Their job is to help kids and parents cross the road safely. If you’ve spent the past summer sliding through that same right turn every morning, now is the time to focus again. 

Keep your eyes open near all schools, especially while kids are walking to and from school each day. Some intersections won’t have crossing guards to make sure everyone gets across safely. In some small neighborhoods, there may not be adequate sidewalks for students, either. Stay vigilant.

4. Slow Down in School Zones

After several months of no flashing lights reminding you to slow down, it’s easy to forget that you’re driving past a school. Consider this your reminder. For the first few days, you may see police officers helping direct traffic and watching for speeders. Once they’re gone, it’s up to you to pay attention, be aware of your surroundings, and watch for the flashing lights letting you know you’re in a school zone.

Once school starts, traffic gets worse, everyone is busier, and we’re all in a bigger hurry. The best way to prepare is to give yourself extra time in the morning and be patient. The first few days of school are always chaotic, but eventually, the bus line, drop off, pick up, and walkers all get into a routine. As long as everyone slows down and keeps their eyes open, the back to school season doesn’t have to be quite as stressful.

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