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Safe driving tips ahead of the first day of school

Posted at 10:53 PM, Aug 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-11 22:53:47-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Tomorrow starts the school year for Lee, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties. Kids getting to and from school will cause a traffic frenzy on the roads, so Cape Coral Police Department is reminding people to drive smart because they will be watching.

"Our officers will be driving around checking for people passing school busses, people speeding in school zones, and just checking the traffic near the schools," said Patrick O'Grady, Master Sergeant for Cape Coral Police Department.

O'Grady says a common mistake people make is not knowing that it's illegal to pass a school bus, even if it's a multiple lane road.

"Stop. You definitely have to stop."

Drivers can get a $165 fine for illegally passing a bus on the left side and a $265 fine for passing on the right side.

Retired Cape Coral Police Officer Jeff Jones used to work in the Traffic Division for the department and says what concerns him the most is kids getting dropped off at busy intersections.

"That's double jeopardy. And leaving their kids on their own to cross the street and now they have no crosswalks or anything else," Jones said.

Jones reminds drivers that kids might be starting at a new school, and the person driving them might be learning a new route.

"The parents that are driving their children to this brand new school sometimes don't know the traffic patterns. Have some patience." Jones said.

Jones emphasizes drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

"Look beyond the hood of your car and put the cellphone down."