With summer drawing to a close, children will soon be heading back to school.
August has been designated Back to School Safety month, and it is our
responsibility as drivers to take extra care when driving in and around
school zones where children may be present. Read on to learn some simple
guidelines that we can all take to help make sure that kids stay safe
on their way to and from school.
The following are some important reminders for motorists:
- Reduce your speed when driving through school zones and in residential areas.
- Enter and exit driveways carefully and slowly.
- Reduce or eliminate any distractions inside your car. This especially includes
cell phone use – never text or talk while driving.
- Watch out for children walking near or on the road in the morning hours
and in the afternoon after school lets out.
- Take an extra moment to double check medians, curbs, and intersections
for children who may be trying to cross the street.
California School Bus Passing Law
Motorists must also remember that California law requires motorists to
come to a full and complete stop behind school buses displaying a flashing
stop sign. According to California Vehicle Code Section 22454, it is illegal
to pass a stopped school bus while the sign is present, and can result
in penalties including fines of $150 to $1,000 and a one-year license
suspension for a third offense. The area 10 feet around a school bus is
where children are in the most danger of being hit, so make sure you stop
your car far enough back to allow children to safely enter and exit the bus.
Safety Tips for Kids
It is equally important to make sure your kids are also following a few
safety rules. If your kids walk to school, make sure they know to look
both ways when crossing the street and to always use crosswalks when they
are available. Kids under 10 should never cross the street without an
adult present. Additionally, make sure kids know never to attempt to cross
the street in between parked cars.
Together, we can all do our part to ensure that our kids are safe when
they return to school.
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