As the 2018-2019 school year begins this week for most schools in our area, local police are reminding motorists to drive with extra caution when approaching and entering a school zone, when entering onto school property, or when approaching a school bus actively involved in either receiving or discharging children.
Riding The School Bus: School buses are the safest way for children to travel to and from school. However, there are dangers when children are boarding and leaving the bus. Over the last decade, nearly two-thirds of school-age pedestrians fatally injured in school transportation-related crashes were struck by school buses or other vehicles when getting on or off a school bus, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Teach your child to always play it SAFE:
- Stay five steps away from the curb.
- Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.
- Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.
- Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.
- Use the sidewalk whenever possible, and if there isn’t a sidewalk, walk on the edge of the street facing traffic.
- Focus when walking near traffic – this is no time for horseplay.
- Use crosswalks whenever they are available to cross the street.
- Look left-right-left before crossing any street.
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet and securely fasten the chin strap.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic and follow traffic signs and signals.
- Stay in the bike lane whenever possible.
- Use the sidewalk appropriately and keep an eye out for other pedestrians.
- Never use electronics while riding – they are distracting.
- Be aware of children walking to and from bus stops, as they might not be paying attention and dart into the road.
- Be aware of school zone signage and reduce speed in school zones.
- Be patient and wait for children to complete their crossing before proceeding. Remember the law now requires motorists to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks.
- DO NOT text while driving.
Motorists are also reminded to use caution around schools, even after the school day ends when children leave later due to extracurricular activities and sporting events.