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With the kids back to school, now’s a perfect time to remind everyone to watch for children traveling to and from school and for school buses. The National Safety Council offers the following advice for parents, students and drivers:

Walking to school

  • If there’s a sidewalk, use it. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Before you cross the street, stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming. Make eye contact with drivers before you step out into the road. It’s the only way to be sure that the driver actually sees you.
  • Never, ever dart out into the road from between parked cars.
  • If your child will be walking to school, walk the route with them and point out areas of caution. Practice.
  • If your child has a cell phone, remind them to stop walking if they need to use the phone or send a text message. Distracted walking is dangerous.
  • When crossing a street, remove headphones. Being able to hear traffic is important.

Riding a bicycle to school

  • Helmets are mandatory! Make sure the helmet fits snugly. Helmets that have been in a crash should be replaced, even if they look OK.
  • Teach the rules of the road. Bicyclists must ride on the right side of the road in single file. If a bike path is available, use it.
  • Come to a complete stop and follow all traffic signs when crossing the street.

School bus safety

  • Go to the bus stop with your child and teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
  • Make sure your children stand six feet away from the curb.
  • If your child needs to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the road until you are at least 12 feet in front of it. You should be able to see the bus driver – and the bus driver should always be able to see you.

For drivers

  • Slow down. Be especially vigilant in neighborhoods and school zones and before and after school hours. 
  • Reduce your distractions. Cell phones, GPS devices, and loud music make it harder to be alert to what’s going on around you. 

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