It’s that time of year again! Some schools in the south have already started classes, while the typical start for the rest of the country is after Labor Day. Whether you have already begun or are gearing up – with over 55 million school children in grades K-12 attending our schools, there are some very important safety considerations to note.
ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL
STUDENTS ON THE BUS
~ Choose a safe place to wait for the bus, away from traffic and off the street.
~ Wait for the bus driver to come to a complete stop and give the okay to board.
~ Look both ways, make sure all traffic has stopped before you cross the street.
~ Stay seated at all times, keeping your hands and arms inside the windows.
~ Keep the aisles in the bus clear.
~ Don’t throw anything out of the windows.
~ Listen to the driver and other adults in charge, obeying the rules and directions.
~ Do not stand up to exit until the bus has come to a complete stop.
PARENTS OF BUS RIDERS
~ Review your child’s route and the bus stop procedures before the first day.
~ Tell your child not to walk in front of the bus until it has come to a complete stop. ~ Remind them not to bend down in front of the bus as the driver may not see him before starting to move.
DRIVERS IN SCHOOL ZONES
~ Be alert for cars and school buses dropping off children, children walking and biking.
~ Pay attention to the directions of school crossing guards.
~ Remember: In normal traffic, both directions of traffic must stop when school bus stop arms and flashing red lights are displayed. On multi-lane roadways with a raised or grass divider, traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop.
~ Be aware of posted speed limits in and around school zones and schools.
STUDENTS ON A BIKE
~ Obey all traffic regulations and signals.
~ Ride in the same direction as auto traffic.
~ Walk your bike through intersections.
~ Always wear a bicycle helmet and wear bright colored clothing.
~ Obey all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard.
~ Do not cross the street against a light, even if you don’t see any traffic coming.
~ If possible, walk with a friend, or in the case of small children, with an adult.
~ Wear something reflective that will it make you more visible.
~ Walk only on sidewalks and/or designated paths, not on the road.
~ Do not walk between parked cars.
~ Walk the route with a parent before school starts, especially if it is a new school, to determine the safest route.
STUDENTS IN A CAR
~ All front seat passengers and minors must wear a seat belt.
~ Obey the crossing guard and the speed limit within the school zones.
~ Drop your children off and pick them up as close to the school as possible.
~ Don’t leave until they are in the schoolyard or building.
~ Parents should require seat belt use by the driver and all passengers, limit the number of teen passengers, do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations or texting to prevent driver distraction; limit nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather. Remember, many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school.
~ Never share personal information about yourself, your family members, your school, your telephone number, and your address.
~ Use strong passwords, keep them private.
~ Never open email or click on links from strangers.
~ Never download unfamiliar links that may contain viruses.
~ Use computers with a good antivirus protection.
~ Never send pictures to strangers.
~ Use caution before you post online. Once it is in cyberspace it is there forever!
~ Lock and protect your computer and mobile devices.
~ Report any suspicious, inappropriate, cyberbullying or cyberstalking behavior to authorities.
Keep these tips in mind and have a safe, happy, and exciting school year!