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How can drivers ensure back to school safety?

With August right around the corner, many parents and kids are looking forward to the upcoming school year. This means it’s a great time to talk to your kids about being safe when walking to and from school. Drivers must also keep in mind the role they play in pedestrian safety, especially when traveling through school zones. In this case, the National Safety Council offers the following back to school tips.

School bus safety is a must for drivers. No matter where you live, it’s illegal to pass a school bus that has deployed its stop arm. If you’re following a bus, keep a greater distance than you would normally with other vehicles. School buses make numerous stops, many of which appear suddenly. If you’re coming from the opposite direction, don’t attempt to pass or circumvent the stop before the stop arm is deployed. Kids can be unpredictable and you don’t want to injure a person just because you’re in a hurry.

Drivers may also encounter kids on the street frequently when driving around school zones. If you see a crossing guard holding up a stop sign, stop and allow kids to cross the intersection safely until you’re given the all-clear. Be vigilant about pedestrians even if you have the right of way. Kids don’t always cross the street safely or use crosswalks, which means a collision can occur if you’re not paying attention. Also, make sure you don’t accidentally block a crosswalk. This makes pedestrians seek alternate routes, which are not usually safe.

Parents who are dropping off their kids at school should also exercise caution. When at all possible, drop off your kids on the same side of the street where the school entrance is located. If this isn’t possible, consider parking your car somewhere safe and walking your kids up to the entrance. You can also consider carpooling with other parents to reduce the number of vehicle at a school at a given time.

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