A new school year is upon us. It’s an exciting time for everyone – parents and kids alike. It is important for adults and children to review transportation safety tips, so everyone can have a safe and healthy school year.
The new school year means adjustments for everyone – for the kids it’s adjusting to a more structured schedule and for adults it’s adjusting to an increase in pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic. During the first few weeks of school the bus drivers and the kids are adjusting to the new routes. Additionally, there may be kids walking or riding bikes to school in your neighborhood. It is important to remember that traffic in your area will increase and school speed zones will be enforced, so you should allow extra time to get to your destination. Drivers should pay particular attention in and around school zones.
Driving tips for parents dropping off and picking up from school:
- Eliminate all distractions
- Put down the phone and avoid talking even on a hands-free device
- 100% of your attention should be focused on navigating the school parking lot
- Overly excited kids tend to run, dart and move unpredictably – be alert and ready to stop quickly
- Obey the 5 mph speed limit in school parking lots
- Obey your schools’ specific procedures for drop off and pick up – there is a method to their madness. The school administrators have specific rules, designated lanes and directional traffic flow set-up to ensure the safety of everyone. Don’t break these rules because you are running late and need to get to a meeting.
Bus safety tips for kids riding to and from school:
- Arrive at bus stop at least 5 minutes before bus is scheduled to arrive
- When bus approaches stay back at least 6 feet from the curb and wait until bus stops and driver opens doors
- NEVER walk behind the bus
- If you need 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 the bus, then cross the street. You should be able to see the bus driver and the bus driver should always be able to see you.
- If you drop something near a bus tell the bus driver
- Use handrails when entering or exiting bus
- Always remain seated on a bus
Tips for kids walking to and from school:
- Consider if your child is mature enough to walk to school
- Walk with your child the first week so you can gauge their level of readiness
- Make sure your child’s walk to school is a safe route and they cross whenever possible where a crossing guard is present
- Always walk on a sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk in the road, always walk FACING traffic
- Walk in groups
- Before crossing the street, stop and look left, then right, then left again
Tips for kids biking to and from school:
- Always wear a helmet, no matter how short the ride
- Ride on the right side, the same direction as traffic – in a single file line
- Be seen – Be aware – Be predictable
- Respect traffic lights and stop signs
- Remember to always walk your bike across a crosswalk or street
Casey & Devoti is a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm. Together Partners Matt Casey and Matt Devoti have nearly 40 years of trial experience. They handle a variety of personal injury matters, including: car, truck and train crashes, victims of impaired and distracted driving, medical malpractice and birth injuries, product liability, slips/trips/falls, elder care and sexual abuse, Workers’ Compensation, and wrongful death. Matt and Matt proudly serve clients throughout metropolitan St. Louis, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois. If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of another, call the office today for a free, no-obligation consultation: (314) 421-0763.