Drivers caught driving on shoulder lane during back-to-school traffic

Posted at 6:36 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 18:36:34-04

Thursday was the first day for parents across Hillsborough County to get a taste of what it's like without courtesy busing.

For parents with kids at Randall Middle School and Newsome High School they worry about two main stretches of road that kids are walking or riding a bike: Fishhawk Boulevard and Lithia Pinecrest Road. 

Thursday morning, a Valrico family sent in these photos that show more than one driver along the shoulder of Lithia Pinecrest during the morning commute. 

Without any sidewalks along the east part of Lithia Pinecrest, young teenagers would be forced to walk along this shoulder or the grass that's next to a guardrail. 

Josephine Amato lost courtesy busing for one child, and a second child is driving himself to Newsome High School. 

Her concern is more cars means more chances for kids to get hurt. 

Amato was not given courtesy busing for her youngest child and worries about having to drive her because statistics show a bus is safer. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reviewed bus safety and found the school bus is the safest vehicle on the road. 

The report outlines that four to six school-age children die each year on a school transportation vehicle but that's less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide. 

They posted online their motto: 'Bus is Best' where they say students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus instead of traveling by car. 

You can read more of the safety here.

Timing the traffic: a major concern in the south part of Hillsborough County is what the traffic will be like with only one lane to get into Fishhawk. 

ABC Action News reporter Nicole Grigg tested the drive times by driving the same four mile route along Fishhawk -- first on the day before school started and then on the first day of school.

The triple time more than tripled.

On Wednesday, it took six minutes to drive to Randall Middle School.

On Thursday, the first day back to school, it took 22 minutes. 

A spokeswoman for Hillsborough County Schools tells us the middle school opened the gates earlier on Thursday to help with traffic flow.

She added that more parents drive their kids on the first day of school and things will get better for the area.