Student Safety to and from School
Please review the following tips provided by the National Safety Council to help ensure the safety of students as they navigate to and from school.
- Know your school's parking lot and drop-off/pick-up procedures
- Allow yourself plenty of time
- Don’t let young children walk through the parking lot alone
- Slow down and watch for younger students who may be hidden by cars
Teach children good safety habits
- Always use a crosswalk, if there’s one available. Wait for any available signals to indicate you can cross, and look both ways before entering the street, just to be sure.
- Take off your headphones and put away your phone. When crossing an intersection or street, it’s important that you’re able to hear any oncoming cars or hazards. You need to stop, look, and listen for any dangers before crossing.
- Don’t stand directly on the curb when waiting to cross. Stand back a few feet from the edge to prevent you from falling or tripping into the street.
- Don’t try to stop or direct traffic in order to cross. Wait for an adequate opening in cars, and then cross.
- Be aware of weather conditions. Bright sunlight, fog, and rain can all impede a driver’s vision and make it difficult for them to see you. It can also make it hard to stop. Make sure the vehicle is completely stopped and that the driver is aware of your presence before crossing the road.
- Walk, don’t run, across the street. Keep looking both ways as you cross the road to ensure there are no oncoming vehicles.
- When crossing in front of a stopped car, be mindful of cars in other lanes, too. Make sure they’re fully stopped and that the drivers can see you. Make eye contact with each driver if possible.
- If there are crossing guards available, always follow their directions.
Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians
- Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
- In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
- Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
- Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
- Don't honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
- Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians; the vehicle may be blocking your view of a crossing child.
- Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way.
Sharing the Road with School Buses
- If you're driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
- Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
- If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
- The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
- Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.
Sharing the Road with Bicyclists
- On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.
- When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
- When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
- If you're turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
- Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
- Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
- Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
- Check side mirrors before opening your door