“A new school year brings a lot of excitement, so it’s easy for children to
become preoccupied on their way to and from school,” said Linda Gorman,
director of communications and public relations for AAA Arizona. “As a leader
in traffic safety, AAA reminds all drivers use extra caution when traveling
near schools, especially as the school year begins.”
Safety advocate AAA has wants parents to keep the ABCs of safety in mind as Arizona children head back to the classroom:
Avoid distractions: Research from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. Stay focused on driving and set a good example for young passengers.
By the numbers: Teach children their home phone number and address, your work phone number and how to dial 911.
Chart your course: Map out a route to school or the bus stop and walk it with your child beforehand. Choose a direct route with the fewest street crossings or with intersections that have crossing guards. Avoid walking by parks, vacant lots and other sparsely populated places.
Don a helmet: Kids who bicycle always should wear a helmet. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent.
Exemplify safety: Do not exceed 15 miles per hour in or near a school zone. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 15 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed as compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 25 mph. Remember that fines double when “STOP WHEN CHILDREN IN CROSSWALK” signs are present. Also remember, school zones are non-passing zones. Always stop for buses that are loading or unloading students. It is illegal to pass a school bus with flashing red lights.
Forego strangers: Teach kids never to accept rides or gifts from strangers.
Grab a buddy: Have kids walk to school with a relative, friend or neighbor.
Safety is the top priority for children. If your child is walking or on a bicycle on their way to school, follow these simple guidelines to assure their safety.
1. Always stay on the sidewalk.
2. Never walk or drive in between parked vehicles. Someone may not see them.
3. Always be sure to stay in cross-walks when you have to cross the street.
4. When in the crosswalk, always get off and walk your bike.
5. Always stay near the crossing guard when in the street.
The beginning of school is an exciting time for the kids. As adult drivers, we need to understand that kids do dumb things and won't always think safety first. As such, we need to use more care and caution when near the schools.
Lets hope for a safe and fun school year for everyone.