With the new school year starting, children will be crossing streets, walking and bicycling to get to and from school each day. School buses stop frequently, which can mean children darting out into traffic without warning. Drivers need to be extra cautious in school zones as children walking on the sidewalks or streets can often be unpredictable.
Tips for Motorists
- Do not text or talk on your cell phone while driving.
- Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
- Residential zones are 25 mph unless otherwise posted.
- Be alert for school zones that have reduced speed limits when children are present.
- 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 drivers to stop until the lights stop flashing and the stop sign is no longer extended.
- Children are the least predictable pedestrians and the most difficult to see. Take extra care to look out for children not only in school zones but also in residential areas, bus stops, playgrounds and parks.
- Keep an eye out for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks.
- When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking.
Tips for Parents and Kids
- Parents: When dropping your children off at school or the bus stop, be aware of where you stop and where your child exits the car. If possible, drop them off at a place where they do not have to cross the street.
- Kids: Always use a crosswalk when crossing the street.
- Kids: When you exit the bus or car, always walk directly to the sidewalk and down to the nearest crosswalk if you must cross the street.
- Kids: If riding your bike to school – ride single file in the bike lane. If you are riding on the sidewalk, beware of pedestrians.
- Kids: Do not stop and talk to strangers when walking or riding to school.
- Kids: Walk to school with a friend or in groups for safety.