Message from the Chief
KEEPING OUR YOUTH SAFE AS THE SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS
School starts back August 10th. This is a time when many young children begin walking and biking to and from school. For a significant number of youth, it is their first time. This is with additional congestion and a time when lines of cars magically reappear at the schools and high school age students start driving the same route to and from school each weekday. This time of year always results in additional police presence in the area of the schools as officers start to monitor school zones, safety of students, walkers, and bike riders, and react to citizen complaints regarding traffic issues related to the starting of the school year. An officer is assigned to every public school in Oviedo.
Drivers need to pay particular attention to the school zone speed limits. Parents parked in school car lines remember to be considerate of not blocking driveways and pay particular attention to walkers and bike riders. Please don't drive distracted. Lives are at stake. Remember to follow speed limits in neighborhoods and stop completely for stop signs. With additional traffic congestion, give yourself a little more time to get to your destination. Typical concerns called in to the police during the first few weeks of school are usually centered on speeding on the main roadways going to and from the high schools before school starts and after school ends and speeding/stop sign violations in neighborhood streets near all schools.
Parents with walkers to school, remind your children:
- To use the sidewalk where available.
- If children must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.
- When crossing the street, stop and look left, right, and left again to see if cars are coming.
- Do not to dart out into traffic.
- Do not to walk using headphones.
- Never to walk while texting or talking on the phone.
Parents with bike riders should practice walking to school with their child. For parents with bike riders, ensure they have a helmet that is fitted and secured properly. Make sure your child knows the rules of the road, such as riding single file on the right side of the road, coming to a complete stop before crossing the street, and walking a bike across roadways. Be sure they wear bright colored clothing.
Both children and drivers tend to have a lot of new distractions as school starts. A significant number of school age drivers are new to driving, which can raise the probability of accidents. As Chief, I ask you to raise your awareness as school starts and for parents to discuss safety issues with their children. If you see a traffic or safety concern related to the school year, contact your local police department to let us know your concern. Be aware we are out there ensuring the streets areas safe as possible as school starts. Together we make a difference.
Chief of Police