Back to School

Parents typically do a great job of preparing their child for the school year with appropriate clothes, necessary supplies, and even the perfect backpack. But one area that is often lacking, transportation experts say, is child safety driving awareness around school zones, school buses, and child care centers.

Child safety should be the first and foremost consideration when determining how a child is dropped off and picked up from school or daycare. At times however, the parent who is most tedious about exercising safety precautions around their own child can be the first to zoom from the curb after making the safe drop-off, and potentially endanger other children in their haste to leave.

Educators and Law Enforcement have a challenge at the beginning of every school year, and rely on parents to partner with them to ensure children arrive and depart safely from school every day. At times, motorists are so worried about their own child's safety and about being on-time for school and work, that they commit safety infractions afterward. Double-parking, speeding through school zones, not being on the lookout for children darting between cars or careening off their bicycles, or even committing a U-turn on a two-way street to turn the car into the direction they want to go are examples.

Parents should check with their child's school or child care provider to learn child safety procedures and routines. By the same token, educators and providers should take extra precautions and initiatives to familiarize parents with child safety tips and guidelines. Each year, tragedies are reported of children getting injured or even tragically killed by darting between cars, not using a cross-walk, or motorists simply not being observant enough.
 
Here are some basic safety tips;

1.   Familiarize yourself with school or provider drop-off and pick-up practices and then be sure you always follow them.

2.   Discuss the rules with your child and practice with younger ones.
 
3.   Resist the urge to speed or make any traffic rules exception because you are running late.
 
4.   Know all traffic rules concerning school zones and traffic flows.
 
5.   Refrain from using your cell phone, palm, or any other distraction while around school zones.
 
Working together, we can ensure a safe school year for everyone! Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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