What to know as school opens Monday

JACKONSONVILLE, Fla. – There were lot more people on the roads starting early Monday morning, including school buses and kids trying to cross the street.

Tyler and Ansley Cryan are looking forward to starting their freshman year.

"Just meeting new friends, you know, new teachers, starting high school, get the GPA up, you know," said Tyler Cryan. 

Their dad, Dave Cryan, is ready to have the kids out of the house, but he knows there will be a tradeoff with extra traffic on the roads

"You have to take a little bit of extra time and just be careful because it’s going to be a longer commute for sure. Until you get used to it, they’re always a couple new signs and a couple new rules, but we will get through it. We will leave a little early and get through," said Dave Cryan. 

Father of three Craig Kornick wrapped up his family’s back to school shopping Sunday night.

"Looking forward to it. Tomorrow is the big day,” said Kornick.

Kornick’s 11-year-old will be taking a school bus for the very first time Monday.

As more people pack the roads, he hopes drivers keep safety and rules of the road in mind.

"I have heard horror stories of kids getting off the buses and people not stopping. That’s where it's the biggest concern," said Kornick.

In 2018, there were more than 3,100 school bus crashes in Florida, and more than 130,000 children up to the age of 17 were involved in crashes around the state. 

News4Jax Crime and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson over the phone about the number one mistake he says drivers make. 

"Not being aware that they are going through a school zone and speeding through it, which endangers everybody in that zone," said Jefferson. 

"I’ve seen it happen over and over and over again," said Jefferson. 

"People forget that there are school zones, especially this first week of school. People forget that they are in school zones, they are zooming through, not paying attention, doing other things and it’s a hazard to our children," said Kornick. 

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office shared a picture earlier this week, a good visual explaining the rules of the road when it comes to buses picking up and dropping off kids.

If a school bus stops on a two-lane road or a multilane road with no median, cars in both directions need to stop.

If a bus stops on a divided highway with a raised median, only drivers behind the bus need to stop.

Another important rule drivers should keep in mind is that, starting Oct. 1, you must be hands-free while driving through school zones and areas with school crossings.

Law enforcement will be giving out warnings for the first few months before issuing citations.

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