Florida ranks as one of the most dangerous states when it comes to walking to school

Posted at 11:44 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 13:35:01-04

A new AAA report lists Florida among the deadliest states for children walking to and from school. According to AAA, Florida has the second highest number of child pedestrian deaths in the country.

Assistant Port St. Lucie Police Chief Richard DelToro says he hears from a lot of parents about bad drivers when school starts back in.

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"We see a lot of people speeding, we see a lot of complaints come in from parents that are concerned about their kids when school first starts back up," DelToro says.

The police department will have officers out in school zones every day for the first two weeks of school. They'll be flashing their lights and reminding drivers to slow down, because school is back in session.

"Some of our drivers just aren't used to those school zones being in effect during the time they're driving to work," DelToro says. "Unfortunately nowadays people get distracted on their phones, radios going, other people talking to them in their cars, so they're not aware of the flashing lights that the school zones are going, so we just want to bring awareness."

For the past ten years, city leaders have worked to make Port St. Lucie more pedestrian friendly. They city has spent $8 million installing more than 25 miles of new sidewalk.

Vice Mayor of the City of Port St. Lucie Linda Bartz says now, there are mandatory sidewalks on every road within two square miles of a school.

"The parents can be assured that there are sidewalks that are going to get these kids to school," Bartz says.

Officers say for the first couple of days they'll only be out to remind drivers school is back in session. After that, however, they say they will hand out tickets to people who are driving dangerously within school zones.