It's that time of year again, students are busy going back to school and everyone is trying to figure out their new schedules. As students return to school, we need to be concerned with all of our students safety.
We have put together a little safety information from you as we go into the new school year Safety tips include:
• Stop for any school bus that has its lights and "stop arm" activated to load and unload children. Drivers must stop in both directions, unless separated from the bus by a median.
• Be alert when around school zones or buses.
• Build extra time into your schedule to accommodate the increased congestion and delay surrounding school start and end times.
• Familiarize yourself, and your children, with laws and safety tips related to school buses, school zones, crosswalks and signals.
• Become familiar with specific rules that pertain to young drivers if you are, or have, a teenage driver in your household.
• Pay attention to your surroundings, on streets or sidewalks; do not assume others see you or that you have the right-of-way.
Additional back-to-school safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration include:
• It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children.
• Buses are the safest mode of transportation for children; however, kids need to be aware of the bus "danger zone": blind spots around the bus where the driver may not be able to see them. Children should maintain a distance of 10 feet away from the front, sides and rear of the bus. (In average kid-speak, that's five giant steps away from any side of the bus.)
• Children should wait until the bus stops completely and the driver signals that it is ok to board; if crossing the street is necessary, wait for the driver to indicate it is safe to cross.
• Obey all signs, signals and crossing guards/police officers in school zones.
• Slow down and be alert for children, walking or biking; they may be difficult to see and may appear suddenly and unexpectedly.
• In low light and bad weather, pay extra attention around bus stops and school zones.
• Do not block crosswalks or intersections; look ahead to determine whether you can get completely across the intersection to avoid "getting stuck" in it or on a crosswalk.
• To increase safety, NHTSA promotes the "5 to Drive" rules: NO cell phones, NO extra passengers, NO speeding, NO alcohol and ALWAYS buckle up.
• Leave extra distance between you and the car in front of you, especially when in school traffic; anticipate frequent and unpredictable stop-and-go traffic; and look ahead for pedestrians and to avoid blocking intersections and crosswalks.
• Do not be distracted by electronic devices or passengers; be focused on the roadway, what's ahead and what's around you.
• Parents: Talk to your kids about traffic safety, even before they reach driving age, to get them thinking about it; set ground rules for your inexperienced driver and the consequences of breaking them.