Returning to School Safely

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.

Walking students:

  • 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

School buses:

  • 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.

Bicyclists:

  • 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!

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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