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M/PIFCD offers back-to-school safety tips

August 7, 2019
By ED FRANKS (efranks@breezenewspapers.com) , Pine Island Eagle

It's that time of the year again! School buses are picking up children, children are walking to and from school, there are kids on bikes, and the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District wants your children to be safe.

"This year we will be parking one of our trucks with a large banner at the crosswalk on Stringfellow Road to remind drivers to watch for children walking to school," Chief Ben Mickuleit said. "The banner says 'Please Stay Alert & Drive Slow School is Back in Session.' This is our way to remind people to be a little more mindful."

The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 12, and school buses will be picking up and dropping off children.

Article Photos

Look for the M/PIFCD banner on opening day.


According to the United States Department of Transportation, "Over the last decade, nearly two-thirds of school-age pedestrians fatally injured in school transportation-related crashes were struck by school buses or other vehicles when getting on or off a school bus."

Teach your child to always play it SAFE:

- Stay five steps away from the curb.

- Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.

- Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.

- Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.

If your children walk to and from school:

- Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by an adult.

- Use the sidewalk whenever possible. If there isn't a sidewalk walk close to the edge of the street facing traffic.

- Use crosswalks whenever they are available. Look left and right when crossing the street.

If your children bike to and from school:

- Always wear a helmet securely fastened with a chin strap.

- Ride in the same direction as traffic and follow traffic signs and signals.

- Ride in the bike lane if there is one.

- Never use electronics while riding.

"Keeping our children safe is one of our highest priorities," Mickuleit said. "We handed safety lights to the students after the terrible accident that cost the life of Layla Aiken at a school bus stop in Cape Coral. We will be handing them out again on the first day of school. Anyone who would like to have them should stop by Station #1."



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