Area residents can expect to see yellow buses rolling down streets and avenues this week, which means pupils and students across the tri-state area will be back in classrooms. This means it’s time to remind drivers to be careful behind the wheel.
Let’s face it – kids don’t always know what cars can do, which means drivers need to be mindful when kids are driving to school, moving around playgrounds and returning from school.
It also means parents need to teach their children about safety and remind them how to stay safe on the way to and from school.
Bus travel times for pupils and students in some area school districts have increased over the years, meaning some students have to leave well before sunrise to catch their bus. This means drivers need to be alert.
It is not only on city streets that caution becomes important for school children, but also on country roads, especially in places where street lighting may not be the best.
Additionally, drivers should watch school zones along their route to work or when dropping children off at school, and slow to the posted speed limit around each school. Remember that children do not always cross at crosswalks and may rush between cars in the middle of a block. Slowing down in a school zone can help save lives and help drivers avoid a costly ticket.
Also, don’t forget to watch out for school buses. Drivers should be aware that it is illegal and dangerous to pass a stopped bus when the lights are flashing. Children have to cross the street at most stops to get on or off the bus, so please obey the bus lights and the stop sign – they’re there for a reason.
As for parents, safety rules should not be reinforced too often. Remind children to use sidewalks or walk away from the edge of the road if there is no sidewalk and to cross only at crosswalks.
Parents should also check children’s schoolbags and, later in the season, their jackets and coats for drawstrings that could get caught in a car or bus door and cause injury as the vehicle drives away. .
A high school student driving to school for the first time should also know the safety rules.
Yes, slowing down means more time for a trip past a school, and stopping behind a school bus on a two-lane street for what seems like an endless number of stops can be an inconvenience. But the alternative – hurting a child or worse – is something no one would ever want to experience.