Think of an intersection that has stop lights, but also has traffic moving in all directions.

Let’s say this intersection has a traffic volume of 3,600 vehicles passing through it every hour — which is the equivalent of one vehicle passing through every second.

Wouldn't you expect that intersection to be considered hazardous for public school students to cross on their way to school?

Now let’s think of a road that has a posted speed limit of 35 mph, but has very little room for a person to walk on the side of the road. And let's say that this road has one vehicle driving by every 12 seconds.

Don't you think the law would consider that roadway to be hazardous for a public school student — or for anyone else?

You would probably be surprised to learn, however, that under Florida law neither of the above scenarios are considered hazardous for public school students of any age.

It’s obvious that current Florida law does not safeguard public school students who reside within reasonable walking distances of their schools.

Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition recently announced that Florida is the worst state in the nation for pedestrian safety; they also determined that Florida has a "Pedestrian Danger Index" that is more than three times the national average.

It is well past time for the Florida Legislature to adopt a reasonable, responsible improvements to the current statute that defines hazardous walking conditions — and to better protect children who encounter hazardous walking conditions between home and school.

Rob Doss is the former director of transportation for the Escambia County School District.