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With the start of the new school year, the Maitland Police Department encourages all drivers to use extra caution around school zones, buses and pedestrian crossings. Here are some important tips from the National Safety Council:
• Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.
• In school zones, don't double park - it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles. Don't load or unload children across the street from the school. Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.
• Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic.
• Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign.
• Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
• Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children.
• Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.