AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As millions of children return to school this month, it’s important for drivers and parents to be careful in and around school zones and buses.
Whether they’re walking or biking to school, riding the bus, or driving on their own, here are safety tips to teach your children as they head back to school:
- Map out a safe walking route using sidewalks and across crosswalks.
- Practice walking the route. Talk about traffic and crosswalks, looking both ways and making sure a car comes to a full stop.
- Find friends along the way and who want to walk, too.
- Outfit your child with helpful safety gear, including reflective tape on backpacks, jackets or shoes.
- Stress that phones should be put away, and eyes forward and alert.
- If you’re on a route, find the safest route possible with well-lit streets and minimal traffic. Also, invest in all the safety gear including lights and helmet.
When you’re driving:
- Be aware of children. They are often impulsive and can dart out in the street at any time. Follow the speed limit and be especially cautious around residential neighborhoods and school zones.
- Yield to pedestrians. When making a turn and waiting for an opening in traffic, be aware that pedestrians may have moved into your path. They always have the right-of-way.
- Be cautious around driveways and alleys. When entering and exiting, these can be very difficult places to spot pedestrians. Keep a close lookout, and if you can’t see clearly, slow down.
- Reduce distractions. Spotting pedestrians requires your full attention. Using a cellphone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, reading a map, or changing the radio station only makes it more difficult and dangerous.
- Approach crosswalks carefully. If a pedestrian is crossing or about to cross, stop well back so drivers in other lanes also have time to yield. Do not pass another vehicle that has stopped for pedestrians.
School bus safety tips:
- Introduce yourself and your child to the bus driver.
- Review bus stop rules such as waiting away from the road and always crossing in front of the bus, not behind.
- Remind kids to sit quietly while the bus is in motion and follow any additional rules the bus driver has.
- Go over what stop to get off at, along with what to do if your child accidentally gets off at the wrong stop.
- Explain the importance of always being in clear sight of the bus driver.
Tips for teens who drive to school:
- Establish safe routes to and from school, and have your child practice driving the route with a licensed adult.
- Prohibit smartphone use and driving.
- Understand the state laws for teen driving such as passenger restrictions.
- Limit driver distraction by banning eating and drinking while driving.
Don Tipps State Farm Insurance
2700 S Western Street