School Is Out – Drive Cautiously

By: Sheriff Carmine Marceno

The summer is upon us and the Lee County school year has ended.

The dynamics of our streets and roadways change dramatically as children play on sidewalks, chase one another and run haphazardly in all directions. These conditions place an additional and significant burden on those operating motor vehicles.

As always, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office requests that all drivers obey speed limits, comply with traffic signals and avoid using electronic devices that serve as distractions. We have all, to varying degrees, become dependent upon our smart devices and cell phones. Much like other addictions, we compulsively reach for our cell phones and struggle when we are unable to do so.

While many believe that they have become somewhat “proficient” at using their phones while driving, this practice has become one of society’s prevailing perils. When we consider risky and unhealthy behaviors we, as humans, have a tendency to believe that the consequences only happen to others…until it happens to us or to a loved one.

While Florida Statute 316.305 allows law enforcement officers to stop motor vehicles using wireless communication devices and issue citations for drivers who are “manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging,” this means little following a catastrophic incident.

Exercise additional caution when driving on side-streets and residential roadways. Younger children rarely consider the hazards around them and outdoor games often result in unanticipated darting into the roadway.

Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to discuss the potential dangers with their children. Younger children should always be supervised while playing outdoors.

Please…the safety of our children is dependent upon our responsible driving.

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