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The Maitland Police Department encourages all drivers to use extra caution when driving through school safety zones. The city includes seven public and private schools. Here are some tips from AARP:
• Adjust your route to avoid school zones, if possible.
• Slow down. Speed limits in school zones tend to be five to 10 miles per hour below the normal posted speed.
• Stop for buses. Passing school bus stopped for children is against the law.
• Watch for pedestrians, especially on sidewalks and around driveways, intersections and residential neighborhoods.
• If you must drive through a school zone, give yourself extra time. Being in a hurry near pedestrians is never safe. Especially in highly populated areas, pedestrians may assume that because they can see your vehicle, you can see them and will stop. Avoid distractions like cell phones or looking for something in your car while driving in a zone with pedestrians.
Being aware of pedestrian safety is important not just in school zones:
• Always look for pedestrians crossing your intended route.
• Do not pass a vehicle that has stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the road.
• Beware of your pedestrian blind spots. When making turns, it is easy to miss seeing a pedestrian hidden by the corner posts between your windshield and side windows. Use scanning and turn your head to see around the areas framing your windshield.
• In cities, be sure to watch for pedestrians, especially children, darting out mid-block from between parked vehicles.
• Look for pedestrian crossing signals and signs that require vehicles to stop mid-block for pedestrian crosswalks.
• At a stoplight, check to make sure no pedestrians are crossing in your path before you proceed.
• Be especially alert for pedestrians and children when backing out of driveways or parking spaces.