Practice safe driving in school zones

Back to school season is a good time to review safety tips for parents, students and motorists.

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Books? Check. Lunch? Check? Back to school time is busy and exciting, but it's important to stay safe and remember those school zones. Whether you're a parent, student or driver, stay safe this school year with these safety tips.

Parents

  • Help your children learn and practice safety guidelines for walking, bicycling, or riding in a passenger car,school bus or transit bus.

  • Supervise young children as they are walking or biking to school or as they wait at the school bus stop.

  • Be a good role model. Always buckle up in the car, don't be a distracted driver, always wear a helmet when biking, and always follow pedestrian safety guidelines.

Students

  • Always buckle up and ride in the back seat if possible.

  • Riding a bike? Wear your helmet and follow traffic safety guidelines.

  • If you ride a school bus, learn and practice the safety guidelines for waiting at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus.

  • If you walk to school learn and practice the safety guidelines for pedestrians. Always cross at crosswalks; obey all traffic signs, stoplights and safety patrol instructions.

  • Be a good role model for your younger siblings and friends. Help them learn and practice the safety guidelines.

Drivers

  • Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits.

  • Always stop for a school bus that has stopped to load or unload passengers. Red flashing lights and extended stop arm tell you the school bus is stopped to load or unload children. Most states have laws that require you to stop your car when a school bus is stopped to load or unload passengers. Failure to do so can result in the issuance of a civil infraction citation.

  • Always stop for a school crossing guard in the roadway. Failure to do so is likely to be a violation of state law.

  • Be alert. Watch for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks. Watch for children playing and gathering near bus stops. Watch for children arriving late for the bus, who may dart into the street without looking for traffic. When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking to school.

  • When driving in neighborhoods or school zones, watch for young people who may be in a hurry to get to school and may not be thinking about getting there safely. Fines may be increased for those issued a citation in a school zone.

Remember it is the responsibility of all drivers and pedestrians to observe all traffic laws. It is also the daily mission of the law enforcement agencies to ensure the safe movement of traffic and to reduce traffic crashes. Together we all can make the difference.