Drivers on alert: it’s back-to-school time

It’s a dangerous time of year: during the summer, drivers fall out of the habit of slowing down in school zones, and stopping for buses.

Every driver – not just parents – needs to stay alert behind the wheel.

  • Do not text or use your cell phone while driving.
  • Buses are back in traffic. Yes, they drive slowly and make a lot of stops. It’s illegal to pass a bus with flashing lights, and relatively dangerous to pass a bus on any street.
  • Watch for other stopped cars. One vehicle stops at a pedestrian crosswalk, and people start to cross the street—but the car in the next lane doesn’t stop. Some of the worst pedestrian injuries I’ve ever seen have come from this type of collision.
  • Slow down in school zones. How many schools do you drive by every day? The speed limit is now 20 mph in these zones (for most states).
  • Keep your car out of the crosswalk at stop signs and stop lights. If your vehicle hangs over the crosswalk lines, pedestrians have to walk in the intersection to get around you.
  • Watch for pedestrian crossings. Some have flashing lights, but many are just marked on the street. Be attentive around crosswalks.
  • 10 feet. That’s the perimeter around a school bus where kids are in most danger of being hit by a car. Pay attention.

Have a safe and happy school year!

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