18 March 2000

Almost time to change clocks, Osceola school district urges safety

Daylight-saving time begins April 2, which means long summer days are just around the corner.

But it also means that until school is out, the mornings will be even darker when students are walking to school, riding their bikes or standing at the bus stop.

With the recent string of car accidents involving students on their way to school in Central Florida, the Osceola County School district has planned a two-week awareness campaign called No Doubt ... Watch Out to remind students and drivers to be careful on the road when the time changes.

Beginning Monday, school officials, teachers and business and community members will join in the effort to make roads safer for students.

Throughout the two weeks, physical education teachers, school resource officers and driver's education teachers will be reminding students about pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Some of the safety rules that will be re-enforced to students are: walk on sidewalks or off the paved road if there are no sidewalks, wear bicycle helmets, use cross walks and look both ways before crossing the street.

Safety rules that drivers should be aware of are: do not pass vehicles or school buses when they are stopped for pedestrian traffic, slow down to posted speed limits in school zones, follow the directions of school crossing guards, yield to students on foot or on bikes when they are crossing the road and be aware of students on their way to school.

On Thursday,the 23rd, the district will pass out strips of white reflective tape to all county elementary school students to put on their book bags or to put on the backs of their shoes for added safety.

To remind drivers to be safe on the road, three school buses, one at the entrance of Poinciana, one on the corner of Highway U.S. 192 and John Young Parkway and one at the Buenaventura Lakes Library, will be parked and decorated with 12-foot "No Doubt ... Watch Out" banners from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the two weeks.

On Friday, school resource officers will be rewarding middle school students who exhibit safe pedestrian and bicycle safety with coupons for free ice cream. The Kissimmee Dairy Queen donated 3,000 to 4,000 free ice cream coupons to the district for the campaign.

Excerpts from article by Natalie Angley Staff Writer, Osceloa News-Gazette. To read the complete Article go to:

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