As summer wanes, children return to class and school zones will be filled with buses and parents dropping off and picking up their children. We can all do our part to limit the number of pedestrian accidents in school zones by following a few safety guidelines.
Be careful around buses
A bus stopped at a crosswalk is a sure sign a child is currently or is soon to be stepping onto the street. Slow down around buses and never pass a stopped bus. Whenever possible, stay away from school zones altogether in the mid to late-afternoon hours when most school buses are on the road.
Don’t double park
Traffic can get congested on the street right outside a school, but double parking creates a hazard that places lives at risk. When you double park, you are impeding the sightlines of bus drivers and other parents who are dropping off and picking up their kids. It’s hard enough to see a small child over the hood of a car without additional vehicles impeding the view. If necessary, park farther away than you are used to and walk your child to the school entrance if they cannot safely walk that far by themselves.
Slow down and pay attention
The speed limit in school zones tends to be five to ten miles per hour slower than it is on regular streets. Slow down when driving in a school zone, even if you are not sure school is in session. Drivers should never partake in unnecessary distractions such as texting while driving, but paying attention to the road is especially important in areas where small children are walking.
We all want the return to school to be a safe one. If an accident does occur, make sure you know your rights and all of the legal options that are available to you.