Cape Coral school crossing debate is senseless; improved safety reduces risk of pedestrian and bicycle accidents

As the school year begins, we encourage Cape Coral and county officials to act quickly in installing school zone lights at Trafalgar Parkway and Skyline Boulevard.

The Lee County School District reports that about 2,000 students attend Trafalgar elementary and Trafalgar middle school. Skyline Boulevard is one of the city’s busiest. The News-Press reports local officials have given installation of school zone lights the go-ahead now that the price has dropped from $270,000 to $45,000.

We think it’s unfortunate that they were not installed long ago. Thousands of young children flood this area everyday and their safety should never be compromised by an attempt to keep costs down.

As school begins, please take extra care in watching for young children, either walking or riding their bicycles, as well as school buses that are loading or unloading passengers. Students are at increased risk of a Fort Myers bicycle accident or pedestrian accident, especially in the early morning or late afternoon when commutes can compete with the fringe of rush hour.

Last week we wrote on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog that teenagers are at increased risk of a car accident as the school year begins. And that is true. But the truth of the matter is that all children are at significant risk of being involved in a traffic accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for those ages 3 to 20.

Back to school means the law of averages simply is not on the side of a motorist. More than 80,000 students will flood one of the nation’s 50-largest school districts. It’s a safe bet that 79,900 would otherwise be in bed at 8 a.m. The coming weeks are among the most dangerous time of the year as students and motorists relearn the art of safe travel and coexistence.

Many accidents happen around school buses or crosswalks. Dangers include:

-Children are most likely to be hit while hurrying to get on the bus.

-Act before they think and have little experience with traffic.

-Assume motorists will see them and wait for them to cross.

-Don’t always stay within a bus driver’s site.

-Try to reach under a bus to pick something up.

We urge you to speak with your child about safe walking and cycling habits. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services provides excellent learning tools, including downloadable presentations.

You may also view the Kids Walk-to-School Brochure.

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