Sunday, September 21, 2014
Start the School Year Off Right: Put Safety First
Summer days grow shorter and communities across America prepare for an annual ritual: the first day of school. It’s a time when parents breathe a sigh of relief, students anticipate new challenges, and when all of us need to put safety first.
The start of school is among the most dangerous times of the year for children. This is when our children are at an increased risk of injuries from pedestrian, bicycle, school bus and motor vehicle crashes.
At the beginning of the school year more children are on the road each morning and afternoon and many drivers’ patterns change. Shorter daylight hours make it especially difficult to see young pedestrians and bicyclists.
The following tips can help make this a safe and happy school year for the whole community.
Motorists: Be Alert
Slow down and obey traffic laws and speed limits, especially around schools.
Stop for school buses that have stopped to load/unload passengers. It’s the law.
Watch for children walking in the street and those playing and gathering near bus stops.
Watch for young people who may be in a hurry to get to school and may not be watching out for cars.
Parents: Teach Safety
Help children learn the safety rules for walking, bicycling, or riding in a car, school bus or transit bus.
Supervise children while they walk or bike to school or as they wait at the bus stop.
Buckle up when riding in a car and ensure all children and passengers are buckled up also.
Place children in the back seat when riding in the car. It’s the safest place.
Be a good role model. Practice the safety rules you teach to children.
Students: Be Smart
Wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules when riding your bike.
Use available sidewalks or stay to the far right of the street.
Cross at the crosswalks, obey all traffic signs, stop lights and safety patrol instructions.
Find a safe place to wait for the bus, away from traffic and the street.
Stand at least five giant steps away from the curb and wait your turn to get on the bus safely.
Be a good role model. Help other students learn and practice the safety rules.
Start the school year off safely and you’ll start it off right!