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Gainesville Fire Rescue asks everyone to be aware of safety as school starts

Press release from Gainesville Fire Rescue

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – When planning a return to school August 10, Gainesville Fire Rescue encourages all our neighbors to put safety first. Starting tomorrow, emergency responders from Gainesville Fire Rescue will be holding signs at several key intersections throughout Gainesville to help raise community awareness.  

Schedule:

Thursday, August 4
7-8 a.m. Williams Elementary
8-9 a.m. Lincoln Middle School

Monday, August 8
7-8 a.m. Littlewood Elementary
8-9 a.m. Westwood Middle School

Tuesday, August 9
7-8 a.m. Stephen Foster Elementary
8-9 a.m. Gainesville High School

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Please avoid distractions while driving by putting down electronic devices, and please conform to the posted speed limit. Whether driving, walking, riding a bike or taking the bus to work or school, please help keep our community and children safe by following some basic but important safety laws and rules.

School Bus Safety

·         Slow down near bus stops and watch out for kids. 

·         Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm means the school bus has stopped to load or unload children.

·         On a two-lane road or a divided roadway with no median, all drivers in both directions must stop. 

·         Walk with children to the bus stop and wait with them until the bus arrives. Tell kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and to board the bus one at a time.

·         Teach kids to wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before boarding or exiting, and never walk behind the bus.

·         If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, he or she should take five giant steps in front of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver and cross when the driver indicates it’s safe.

·         If a child drops something, they should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see them before they pick it up.

·         Obey the traffic laws, signals, and speed limits.

Bicycle Safety

·         Use your head, wear a helmet!

·         Share the road with bicyclists.

·         Stop before turning right on red.

·         Tell children to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it, staying as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and obey traffic control devices, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights.

·         Teach children to make eye contact with drivers. Bicyclists should make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop before they cross the street.

·         When riding at dusk, dawn, or in the evening, be bright and use lights and make sure your bike has reflectors. It’s also smart to improve visibility by wearing clothes and accessories that incorporate retro-reflective materials.

·         Focus on the road. Avoid aggressive driving.

·         Obey the traffic laws, signals, and speed limit

Pedestrian Safety

·         Talk to children about how to stay safe while walking. It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

·         Teach kids at an early age to avoid distractions by putting down electronic devices and to always look left, right, and left again when crossing the street.

·         Children under 10 should always cross the street with an adult. Every child is different but developmentally, it can be difficult for younger kids to judge speed and distance of cars.

·         Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and to watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.

·         Always stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks at both intersections and midblock.

·         Stop before turning right on red.

·         Do not pass a vehicle that is stopping for pedestrians.

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