I know most of our children have started back to school in the past week. We are distracted rushing our children out of the house, making sure they have their backpacks, lunchboxes, etc. We aren’t paying attention to what is happening on the road. The beginning of the school year is a time when children are at increased risk of transportation-related injuries from pedestrian, bicycle, school bus, and motor vehicle crashes. Let us all make sure to slow down and help you and your child safely survive what can be some chaotic weeks as we try to start to settle into a routine:
Walking to School
In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a œwalking school bus, in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.
Make sure your child’s walk to a school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.
Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
If your child is young or is walking to new school, walk with them the first week to make sure they know the route and can do it safely.
Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
¢Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
¢Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
¢Use appropriate hand signals.
¢Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
¢Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility.
¢Know the “rules of the road.”
¢If your child’s school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times when in the bus. If your child’s school bus does not have lap/shoulder belts, encourage the school to buy or lease buses with lap/shoulder belts.
¢Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
¢Do not move around on the bus.
¢Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street.
¢Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.
¢Children should always board and exit the bus at designated locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.
¢All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.
¢Do not text or talk on your cell phone while driving.
¢Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
¢Be alert for school zones that have a reduced speed limit at designated times of the day.
¢Watch for school buses. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopping to load or unload children. State law requires you to stop.
¢Keep an eye out for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks.
¢Be alert for children playing and gathering near bus stops and for those who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
¢When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking to school.
¢When driving in neighborhoods or school zones, watch for young people who may be in a hurry to get to or away from school and may not be thinking about getting there safely
Slow down, be aware of your surroundings and be safe!