As the weather cools down (slightly) and pens and pencils go on sale, it is time for kids to head back to school. Remembering to pack their lunch and your new seventh grader’s locker combination can get pretty hectic, but here are some things to keep in mind as the School Zone signs start flashing:
School Zones are areas around elementary, junior high and high schools, where there are more crosswalks, reduced speed limits, and often crossing guards to protect children 18 and younger while they are headed to and from school.
Every child should have the right to travel safely to and from school each day.
However, because many motorists do not comply to these laws, the most dangerous time for young pedestrians is between 3 - 4 p.m. on weekdays. During this time, more school-aged pedestrians are killed by motorists than any other time of the day.
Let’s review some things motorists can do to keep kids safe.
1. Pay attention - many elementary age students do not understand how vehicles work, especially how long it takes for a car to stop. They are also known to be unpredictable and cross the road when they are not at a crosswalk. This is why it is vital to be aware of any little pedestrians around you.
Obey the speed limit - the faster you drive, the longer it takes to come to a complete stop and the more damage you will cause to a pedestrian. Going slow will also help you to pay better attention to your surroundings and to be on the lookout for any children crossing the street.
Yield to busses - Be sure to stop anytime a bus has it’s stop sign open and to be careful when driving past students waiting for their bus in the morning or leaving their bus to return home. Busses also have a difficult time navigating around so it is important to yield to busses to protect its occupants.
The most important thing to remember is to treat these kids as though they are your own. Be aware of school zones and obey any signs, crossing guards, and police officers so we can protect our kids.