Schools have reopened for the 2021=2022 school year. Quiet summer streets will once again be filled with school buses, cars, bicycles, and students walking to school. Slow down and be alert! Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind as schools reopen.
#1 priority when driving to school or around schools – stay off your phone! Distractions cause accidents!
If you’re dropping off:
- Don’t load or unload students across the street from school.
- Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other students and vehicles.
- Don’t block the crosswalk when you stop at red lights near a school.
- Stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.
- Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
- Never pass a bus from behind or from either direction if it is stopped to load or unload children.
- If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.
- When following a school bus, allow more space between you and the bus.
- Stop at least 10 feet around a school bus to allow enough space for students to safely enter and exit the bus.
- BE ALERT! Children are often unpredictable and tend to ignore hazards and take risks.
- When passing a bicycle, leave 3 feet between you and bike.
- Turning left and a bicyclists is approaching from the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass.
- Turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first. Always use your turn signals.
- Be watchful of bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling.
- Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars.
- Check side mirrors before opening your car door.
- Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods.
Parents, talk to your children about safety.
If your child is walking to school:
- Use the sidewalk whenever possible. If no sidewalk, walk on the edge of the street facing traffic.
- When possible, use marked crosswalks to cross the street. Always look left-right-left for vehicles or bikes when crossing.
- Never play, push, or shove others when you are walking around traffic.
- Watch the road, not your phone.
If your child is riding a bus:
Teach them S.A.F.E.
- Stay five steps away from the curb
- Always wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the bus driver signals for you to board.
- Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.
- Exit the bus after it stops and look left-right-left for cars before crossing the street.
Riding a bike to school:
- Wear a correctly fitted helmet that has a securely fasten chin strap.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic and follow traffic signs and signals.
- Stay in the bike lane whenever possible.
Have great school year and be safe!
National Safety Council: https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/seasonal-safety/back-to-school/drivers
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: https://www.nhtsa.gov/school-bus-safety/keeping-children-safe