The school year is quickly approaching, and that means more children will be walking or biking to school. For parents, this means it’s time to start thinking about school safety. It is important to make sure your children are aware of the dangers they may face while traveling to and from school. Follow these tips and you can rest assured that your child will have a safe and successful school year!
School Zone Safety
As school zones become more active, TxDOT advises drivers to be extra cautious, as well as be conscious of school bus safety.
Despite the fact that there was significantly less traffic around Texas schools as a result of the epidemic, there were still 400 car incidents in school zones in 2020, with 11 serious injuries. The most common causes of these collisions might have been avoided entirely: 1) speeding, 2) driver inattention, and 3) failure to surrender the right-of-way at a stop sign or on a private drive. (Texas Department of Transportation)
Tips for Driving in School Zones
- Keep in mind that traffic patterns in school zones may have changed from the previous school year.
- Keep your eyes peeled for danger and put your phone away. It is illegal to use a handheld electronic device while driving in a school zone.
- Always follow the posted speed limits in school zones. Remember that in school zones, traffic fines are higher.
- Drop off and pick up your kids in the authorized areas of your school, not in the middle of the street.
- Keep an eye out for children congregating at bus stops, and keep an eye out for children darting across the street or between vehicles.
- Always avoid alcohol and other medications that could affect your driving ability. They have an impact on your alertness, decision-making, reflexes, and reaction speed.
(Texas Department of Transportation)
Bike Safety for Children
Bike riding is a lot of fun, but it’s not without risk. The safest way to ride a bike is to get around, not to have fun. If your child falls off your bike, wearing a well-fitting helmet can help protect their face, head, and brain. That is why it is critical to always wear a bike helmet when riding a bike. Bike helmets are so crucial that they have their own set of safety regulations in the United States. The helmet should include a sticker stating that it complies with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s requirements (CPSC). If your child’s helmet lacks a CPSC sticker, obtain one for them that meets this standard. (KidsHealth, 2019)
Walking Safely to School
Parents and children traveling to school should remain vigilant at all times and only cross the roadway at marked crosswalks and crossings. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Always walk on the sidewalks. If there isn’t a sidewalk, cross the street on the left side, facing traffic.
- At junctions or marked crosswalks, cross the street. Before moving on, take a look to the left, right, and left again.
- Crossing guards must always be obeyed.
- Before crossing the street, make eye contact with the drivers. Never take it for granted that a driver will see you.
- When getting off a bus or walking out from behind parked cars, keep an eye out for traffic.
- Electronic devices that pull your eyes and ears away from the road should be avoided.
- All traffic rules, signs, and signals must be followed.
(Texas Department of Transportation)
Making sure your child is safe at school should be a top priority for all parents. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your child makes it to and from campus safely and has a successful school year. For further safety rules, refer to the checklist given by the National Safety Council below.
Back to School Driving Tips, www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/media-center/psas/distracted-driving/school.html#:~:text=Tips%20for%20Driving%20in%20School%20Zones&text=Always%20obey%20school%20zone%20speed,children%20gathered%20at%20bus%20stops.
“Bike Safety (for Kids) – Nemours Kidshealth.” Edited by Kate M. Cronan, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, Feb. 2019, kidshealth.org/en/kids/bike-safety.html.
“June Is National Safety Month.” National Safety Council, www.nsc.org/.