National School Bus Safety Week

This year’s National School Bus Safety Week (NSBSW) takes place October 18-22, 2021. The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program is highlighting school bus safety tips and information to share. Please join us in advocating for school bus safety to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our roadways.

Every year, approximately 440,000 public school buses travel more than 4 billion miles and daily transport 24 million children to and from schools and school-related activities. School buses account for an estimated 10 billion student trips each year.*

We would also like to thank all bus drivers and also acknowledge the shortage in our local communities. We appreciate everyone working together to make sure children get to school and back home safely. 

School Bus Safety Rules for Drivers

  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state.
  • Be sure to acquaint yourself with the flashing light system that school bus drivers use to alert motorists.
  • Yellow flashing lights mean that the school bus is preparing to stop. Motorists should slow down and be ready to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate that the school bus has stopped, and children are boarding or exiting.
  • On a two-lane road, all vehicles in both directions must stop.
  • On a divided highway with a raised median, unpaved space, or a physical barrier of at least five feet, vehicles traveling in the opposite direction are not required to stop.
  • On a divided highway where no median or barrier exists, all vehicles are mandated to stop.

School Bus Safety Reminders for Students

  • Arrive early.
  • Don’t push or cut in line.
  • Stay out of the “danger zone,” 10 steps away from the bus.
  • Wait for the bus driver to open the door before trying to get on.
  • Keep aisle clear of your backpack, bag, or books.
  • Talk quietly during the entire bus ride.
  • Keep your hands, arms, and head inside the bus at all times.
  • Walk in front of the bus to cross the street, never behind it.

National Coalition for Safer Roads introduced the theme Expect the Unexpected. Know the Danger Zone. Click here to check out what they have to offer this year.

Additional School Bus Safety Information and Resources for Drivers and Children:

*source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Traffic Safety Wise Words

The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) launched the Wise Words safety campaign in 2018 with team member Walt Duffany’s Walt’s Wise Words. Walt began working with the District Two Community Traffic Safety Team when he was FDOT Lake City shop supervisor. He retired from FDOT in 2015 and now serves as Deputy Reservist Coordinator for Columbia County Fire Rescue as a volunteer. Walt and his family moved to Florida from Watertown, New York, in 1986, where he worked for the Town of Adams highway department. He is also a Navy veteran and spent time in Vietnam. Thank you, Walt, for all of your clever safety messages and for your service!

When the campaign launched with Walt’s Wise Words, the graphic consisted of a car with a bumper sticker with a Wise Words slogan. It has since morphed into a campaign with colorful images, graphics and catchy phrases which are all original and created by District Two CTST team members. The traffic safety Wise Words are short, smart messages targeted to drivers and focused on a variety of topics like distracted, impaired, tailgating, turn signals, and buckling up. Additional traffic safety campaigns were created for Work Zone Awareness, Occupant Protection, Distracted Driving, Safe Distancing Driving, Stop on Red, and Impaired Driving, among others. 

Share Traffic Safety Wise Words

Be a Community Traffic Safety Team “Virtual Volunteer”. Share these Wise Words on your social media accounts. Don’t forget to tag us! Facebook / Instagram@trafficsafetyteamTwitter / Pinterest / LinkedIn@trafficsafetyfl 

Pedestrian/Bicyclist Countermeasures

Cost Effective Safety Engineering Countermeasures Help Protect Vulnerable Road Users

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program in Northeast Florida continues the educational countermeasure series based on proven measures of effectiveness by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). These pieces outline countermeasures to improve safety for people traveling by foot, wheelchair, or bicycle.

Click on the five educational Pedestrian and Bicyclist Countermeasure cards below to download a copy. They may be printed or shared digitally through email or social media with our Northeast Florida Traffic Safety Teams, communities, and agencies.

Many of the serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists occur during dark or dusk hours, and outside of marked crosswalks or bicycle lanes. Motorist speed is one of the major factors that can mean the difference between a minor injury and a serious injury or fatality for a bicyclist or pedestrian. The traffic safety strategies and treatments of roadway markings, configurations and traffic lights reduce serious injury and fatal crashes by slowing traffic, allowing more space and safe areas for walkers and cyclists.

Click here for a PDF document of these pedestrian and bicyclist countermeasures used in Northeast Florida, provided by the FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program.


Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Reducing Pedestrian-Vehicle Crashes:

1. Walkways, Shared Use Paths, and Sidewalks Improve Safety and Mobility

Pedestrian walkways are defined pathways for use by people traveling by foot or using a wheelchair and are separated from motor vehicle traffic by a space, barrier, or curb and gutter. Northeast Florida integrates and maintains accessible walkways, shared use paths, sidewalks, and roadway shoulders into the transportation system in both urban and rural areas to provide safer spaces for pedestrians to walk. 

2. Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) Give Pedestrians a Head Start 

Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) allow pedestrians the opportunity to enter an intersection 3-7 seconds before vehicles are given a green indication. Their presence can be better established in the crosswalk before drivers have priority to turn. Benefits of LPIs include: 
• Increased visibility of crossing pedestrians. 
• Reduced conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles. 
• Increased likelihood of motorists yielding to pedestrians. 
• Enhanced safety for pedestrians who may be slower to start into the intersection. 

3. Pedestrian Crossing Islands and Medians Reduce Pedestrian Crashes 

Raised medians and pedestrian crossing islands (refuge areas) separate motorized and non-motorized road users. Pedestrians need to estimate vehicle speeds, adjust their walking speed, determine gaps in traffic, and predict vehicle paths to safely cross a roadway. The defined pavement markings, raised medians, or islands help improve pedestrian safety by allowing walkers to cross one direction of traffic at a time. This proven pedestrian safety countermeasure is used in Northeast Florida in curbed sections of urban and suburban multi-lane roadways. 

4. Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs) Assist with Safe Crossing 

PHBs are designed to help pedestrians safely cross busy or higher-speed roadways at midblock crossings and uncontrolled intersections, where a majority of pedestrian fatalities occur. The PHB is an intermediate option between a flashing beacon and a full pedestrian signal. It assigns right of way and provides positive stop control, and also allows motorists to proceed when the pedestrian has cleared the travel lane. For more information and details about Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons, please visit: trafficsafetyteam.org/pedestrian-hybrid-beacon 

5. Roadway Reconfigurations Improve Safety for All Road Users 

A “Road Diet” typically involves reconfiguring a four-lane undivided roadway into a three-lane roadway consisting of a center left-turn lane and two through lanes. Benefits include a reduction of rear-end, left-turn and right-angle crashes. This configuration also gives the opportunity to install pedestrian refuge islands, bicycle lanes, on-street parking, or transit stops. “Road Diets” help calm traffic and provide better mobility and access that accommodates the needs of pedestrians with fewer lanes to cross and more space for cyclists. 


Florida Traffic Safety Coalitions

In working towards Vision Zero, Florida’s statewide traffic safety coalitions and programs focus on their respective emphasis areas and best practices, with strategies that guide efforts to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on our roadways. Teamwork and partnerships are fundamental in addressing traffic safety locally, regionally, and statewide.

These coalitions support the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) emphasis areas and bring partners together to analyze data, create strategic action plans, implement programs, and monitor performance. Traffic safety is most effective when employing the 4Es: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, and Emergency Response, as well as the 4Is addressing Information Intelligence, Innovation, Insight into Communities, and Investment and Policies. Florida traffic safety coalition members are comprised of dedicated people from the 4Es group as well as community officials, agencies, advocacy groups, business partners, and membership organizations.

2021 Florida Traffic Safety Coalition and Resource Center Contact List and Information
2021 Florida Traffic Safety Coalition Campaign Calendar


Florida Traffic Safety Coalitions:

Florida Impaired Driving Coalition:
The Florida Impaired Driving Coalition (FIDC) was formed in 2009 to identify and prioritize the state’s most pressing impaired driving issues and develop a plan to maximize the State’s ability to impact these crashes.

Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition:
Ride Smart Florida is a complete resource for motorcyclists on education and training, safety strategies, motor‐ cycle data, and more. It also provides help and support to local communities and motorcycle clubs with access to public service announcements (PSAs), motorcycle‐related statistics, rider education information, and links to other websites related to motorcycle safety.

Florida Occupant Protection Coalition:
The Florida Occupant Protection Coalition (FOPC) was formed to identify and prioritize Florida’s most pressing occupant protection issues. The Coalition reviews proven strategies and discusses promising new practices.

Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Coalition:
As part of the FDOT Initiative, the “Alert Today Alive Tomorrow” campaign is being presented via TV, radio, social media, transit advertising, local education, and enforcement activities. The message that “Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident” is a reminder for all roadway users to pay attention and follow the rules of the road.

Florida’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition:
Safe Mobility for Life Coalition’s mission is to implement a strategic plan to increase the safety, access, and mobility for aging road users and eliminate fatalities and reduce serious injuries.

Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition:
To establish a culture of a safe teen driving. Engage, educate, and mobilize all members of the community to work collectively on developing and improving safe teen driving programs, practices, and activities and thereby save lives in Florida.

Florida Traffic Records Coordinating Committee:
The Florida Traffic Records Coordinating Committee provides essential safety data to all users when, where, and in the form, they need it. The TRCC was created to bring together agencies that are interested in reducing traffic injuries and deaths by improving the timeliness, accuracy, completeness, uniformity, integration, and accessibility of traffic records data.

Florida Traffic Safety Resource Centers:

Florida Occupant Protection Resource Center:
The Florida Occupant Protection Resource Center was created to be a one stop resource center providing equipment/educational/promotional materials on all aspects identified by FDOT as critical strategic highway safety occupant safety elements.

Florida’s Pedestrian & Bicycling Safety Resource Center:
The Florida Pedestrian/Bicycling Safety Resource Center promotes safe pedestrian and bicycling activities for citizens and visitors, young and old, by providing educational materials and information to advocate groups in the state.


Northeast FDOT Community Traffic Safety Program and the Florida traffic safety coalitions plan and maintain projects, and review crash data to evaluate the SHSP progress and to identify relationships between contributing factors, including time/day, demographics, driver behaviors, environmental and roadway conditions, high risk locations, and emerging issues in key emphasis areas. Click here to read the Florida SHSP, Target Zero Fatalities & Serious Injuries.

Ride Safe Activity Card

The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) distributed 15,000 Ride Safe “Buckle Up” activity cards throughout all 18 counties of FDOT District Two in May 2021. They are available for free at your local library.

Ride Safe – Buckle Up Activity Card with Occupant Protection and Child Passenger Safety Tips

Libraries are a wonderful place for community members to access educational and informational resources at no cost, and for our Community Traffic Safety Teams to promote key traffic safety messages, like driving safe, always wearing your safety belt, stopping distracted driving and sharing the road. This Ride Safe activity card is double-sided with a car safety crossword and child safety seat maze activity.

We have also created this free digital, one-sided 8.5×11 Ride Safe, Occupant Protection resource available here for downloading, printing and sharing with your community.

The FDOT District Two covers 18 counties, from rural to urban communities. Our Northeast Florida CTSP has partnered with local, county public library systems for many years. Our goal is to help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on our roadways through education and community outreach.

Remember to Always Buckle Up for Every Car Ride!

This Ride Safe, occupant protection and child passenger safety, free educational resource is part of a series. The Drive Safe and Bike Safe pieces are available online below, and Walk Safe will be distributed this Fall. Each piece has a different activity or puzzle with important traffic safety tips and reminders.