Fall is in full swing and with it school has begun. In the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, more than 27,500 students across 37 schools started their 2018-19 school year Aug. 27. According to the American Automobile Association, one in four children pedestrian fatalities happened between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. over the last decade. Driver safety and pedestrian awareness are paramount to keeping our students and streets safe. Here are seven tips for drivers and students to follow to drive and cross safely.
Safety Tips for drivers:
o Slow down. Be aware of school zone signals and school zone speed limits. These limits can vary depending on the hour make sure you are conscious of them.
o Drive with caution. Never pass other vehicles, change lanes or make U-Turns in a school zone. Additionally, pay extra attention and avoid using a cell phone in school zones.
o Listen to those in charge. Always obey the signals of school crossing guards and stop for school buses loading or unloading children.
o Be aware. Watch out for children near schools, bus stops, sidewalks, in the streets and in school parking lots. Every vehicle has blind spots, so be vigilant in checking your own.
Teach your students:
o How to read traffic signals. Make sure your children can recognize and obey traffic signals, signs, pavements markers and know how to obey crossing guards.
o How to cross a street. Show them designated crosswalks, street corners and traffic controlled intersections that are safe to cross. When crossing a street, teach your children how to look both ways and to never enter streets from between obstacles like parked cars or shrubbery.
o Pay attention. Ensure your children do not text, look at their cell phones, roughhouse or take part in other similar activities when they are walking near roadways or intersections.