Editorial: School safety tips for students
Students in the Four Corners region are heading back to class. So it’s a good time for some safety reminders.
Perhaps the biggest issue is traffic awareness. Students will be heading to class on foot, on bikes, on buses and in a parent’s car. All change the dynamic that motorists have been experiencing in the summer months.
The National Safety Council offers a number of traffic safety tips, most of which are common sense but worth a reminder.
• For people driving children to school and dropping them off: Don't double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles. Don't load or unload children across the street from the school. Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school,
•Help young pedestrians get to school safely: Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. 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.
•Help bicyclists stay safe: 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.
•Watch for school buses: Never pass a bus from behind 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.
For other back-to-school tips from the National Safety Council, go to http://www.nsc.org/learn/Pages/keep-children-safe-at-school.aspx.
Let’s make sure our children have a safe school year.