Back-to-school safety tips offered for drivers

Public urged to obey school zone speed limits and stop for buses loading and unloading students

Image courtesy Sarasota Police Department

On Monday, Aug. 13, the new school year will begin in Sarasota County. As students head back to class, the Sarasota Police Department wants to remind drivers about its zero tolerance policy for speeding in school zones and for passing school buses that have sign signs extended as students board or leave the buses.

On Aug. 13, a Police Department news release says, officers will be at a number of schools, welcoming students back to class. As in previous years, the Police Department will host a special #BackToSchool “Tweet from the Beat” under the Twitter handle @SarasotaPD, the release adds.

On all Sarasota Police Department social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), followers will be able to find photos of officers visiting schools around the City of Sarasota, the release notes.

The Sarasota Police Department also has also created a Back to Schoolpublic service announcement, “sharing important safety tips for parents and students,” the release continues. It may be viewed at

The following are safety tips to remember as the school year begins, the release notes:

  • Students heading back to school means increased traffic on city roads. Please allow extra travel time and watch for other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and school buses.
  • Buckle up! Make sure all passengers and the driver in a vehicle, especially children, are buckled up. In Florida, passengers under age 18 must wear a seatbelt or be restrained in a child car seat.
  • Pay attention to crossing guards and obey school zone signage. All school zones in the City of Sarasota have a 15 mph speed limit. Watch for students who will be walking to and from school.
  • Cars must stop for any school bus when the side stop sign is out and the red lights are flashing, even if the bus is on the opposite side of the street. The only exception is when a raised median, more than 4 feet wide, divides the street.
  • Fines for speeding in a school zone and passing a school bus can range from $156 to $456. Officers are encouraging drivers to slow down and allow plenty of time to get to and from their destinations.