Now that school is back in session, we drivers need to remember to be extra careful while driving in the morning before school begins and in the early afternoon when school lets out. Here are some additional back to school safety tips to help keep kids safe.
School Safety for Kids -- safety tips provided by the Klass Kids Foundation
School Safety for Drivers -- safety tips provided by National Safety Council
- Ensure that children take the trip to and from school with at least one other person. There is safety in numbers.
- Show your children the safest routes to and from school. Walk on the sidewalk (if available) against traffic and avoid alleys, stairwells and shortcut paths.
- Children at a school bus stop require vigilant supervision when they are picked up in the morning and when they are dropped off in the afternoon. This can be accomplished via high or low-tech means.
- Surveillance cameras provide an unblinking eye on all activities within their parameters.
- Local parents can rotate this responsibility, it can be a neighborhood watch, church, or retirement home project.
- Establish a safe house along the routes and instruct children to use it if they feel threatened.
- Know the registered sex offenders who live on the walking routes or near the school bus stops.
- Educate the children so that they avoid sex offender residences and the people who live in those locations.
- It’s a good idea for children 10-or over to have a cell phone that they can use in case of an emergency.
- In case of emergency children should react accordingly. Use their cell phone if they have one, scream, yell and run away from whatever is threatening them.
- Be sure to stop and be extra cautious around school busses.
- It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
- School buses use yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are preparing to stop to load or unload children. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm signals to motorists that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus.
- All 50 states require that traffic in both directions stop on undivided roadways when students are entering or exiting a school bus.
- The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit. Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children the necessary space to safely enter and exit the bus.
- Be alert. Children are unpredictable. Children walking to or from their bus are usually very comfortable with their surroundings. This makes them more likely to take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways when crossing the street.
- Generally, pedestrians have the right-of-way at all intersections; however, regardless of the rules of the road or right-of-way, you as a driver are obligated to exercise great care and extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians.
- Drivers should not block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. Do not stop with a portion of your vehicle over the crosswalk. Blocking the crosswalk forces pedestrians to go around your vehicle and puts them in a dangerous situation.
- In a school zone when a warning flasher or flashers are blinking, you must stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.
- Always stop when directed to do so by a school patrol sign, school patrol officer or designated crossing guard.
- 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, playgrounds and parks.
- Don’t honk your horn, rev your engine or do anything to rush or scare a pedestrian in front of your car, even if you have the legal right-of-way.
- On most roadways, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other roadway users and often share the same lane, but bicycles can be hard to see.
- When passing a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction, do so slowly and leave at least a distance between you and the bicycle of no less than 3 feet. Maintain this clearance until you have safely passed the bicycle.
- The most common causes of collisions are drivers turning left in front of an oncoming bicycle or turning right, across the path of the bicycle.
- Watch for bicycle riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling, especially if the rider is a child.
- Take extra precautions in school zones and neighborhood areas where children and teenagers might be riding.
- Watch out for bikes coming out of driveways or from behind parked cars or other obstructions.
- Check side mirrors for bicyclists before opening the door. Some communities may fine drivers for collisions caused by opening a vehicle door in the path of a bicyclist.
If you need auto body, mechanical repair, tire service, detailing service, or auto paint service to make certain your vehicle is in top operating condition, we invite you to visit us at Robert’s Collision & Repair. We are located just off Highway 1 at the Del Monte Blvd. Pacific Grove exit. Our shop address is 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. Call 831-373-1534 to schedule an appointment.