Back to School Safety is something we should visit each new school year. It’s crucial to remember our shared responsibility of keeping our students safe and secure. One area we need to focus on is responsible driving in school zones. By working together as parents, teachers, and students, we can implement traffic safety procedures that prioritize the well-being of our children.
Back-to-school safety begins with drivers accessing school zones, parents picking up and dropping off children at school, school bus safety, bike safety and awareness. Parents have the responsibility of making sure they revisit each of these safety reminders each school year to prevent accidents. Take a moment to learn more.
Ensuring Bus Ride Safety: Tips for Motorists and Students
When it comes to bus rider safety, both school bus drivers and motorists play a crucial role. School bus drivers go to great lengths to protect children. Still, it’s equally important for motorists to drive responsibly around school buses. Here are some essential tips for both drivers and students to promote bus ride safety:
Advice for Drivers Sharing the Road with School Buses:
- Maintain a Safe Distance: Be mindful that school buses make frequent stops. Keep a safe space to allow for sudden stops and children exiting or boarding the bus.
- Stay Vigilant for Children: Always be alert for children around buses. Stay cautious and watchful. Remember that sometimes children might not check for vehicles before crossing a street.
- Stop For Red Lights or a Stop Sign: It is mandatory to stop when you see a school bus with flashing red lights or a stop sign, regardless of your direction. Please wait until the bus moves, the lights stop flashing, or the bus driver signals that it’s safe to pass.
- Avoid Violations: Remember that violating school bus safety rules can lead to fines of up to $1,250 for a first offense. It’s crucial to prioritize the safety of children.
(Texas Department of Transportation)
Tips for Students
- Maintain a Safe Distance While Waiting: Standing as far back from the curb as possible when waiting for the bus is the first step. This ensures your safety and prevents any accidents near the roadway.
- Board the Bus Safely: Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, and pay attention to the driver’s signal that it’s safe to board. Hold onto the handrail while entering and find a seat promptly.
- Respect the Driver’s Instructions: Listen attentively to the bus driver and remain seated throughout the ride. Avoid any behavior that may distract the driver and compromise everyone’s safety.
- Practice Safe Crossing: When exiting the bus, always cross in front of it, never behind. Make eye contact with the driver and wait for their signal that it’s safe to proceed. Before crossing the road, remember to look left, right, and left again to ensure no traffic is approaching.
(Texas Department of Transportation)
Children Riding Bikes to School: Promoting Active Transportation and Building Community Connections
Encouraging children to ride bikes to school helps them meet the recommended daily physical activity. It also fosters social connections among parents and students outside of school hours while improving their bicycle safety skills. Bike-to-school programs often incorporate the 5 E’s of safe routes to school, ensuring a comprehensive approach to promoting a safe and active commute.
Let’s explore the 5-E components and actions to make children riding bikes to school successful:
Education: Teach pedestrian and bicycle safety to students, by sharing the knowledge and skills needed for a safe commute.
Encouragement: Promote active transportation through engaging events like walking and biking to school days, inspiring students to choose biking as their preferred mode of transportation.
Engineering: Make necessary improvements that support safe walking and biking routes around the school.
Enforcement: Foster partnerships with law enforcement agencies to ensure the implementation of necessary safety measures and regulations.
Evaluation: Regularly assess, plan, and implement programs that encourage participation and enhance safety for students riding bikes to school.
(Action for Healthy Kids)
Organize a Bike Train: Create an organized group of students and adults who ride together to and from school, picking up more students along the designated route. Prioritize safety and enjoyment while engaging in physical activity.
Utilize Walk-to-School Program Components: Incorporate elements like remote drop-off or crossing-the-street programs from walk-to-school initiatives into your bike program. Consider implementing a hybrid program that combines walking and biking to school.
Have a Great, Safe, School Year: Starting a new school year can be exciting for students. Remember to stay informed about any new safety guidelines or protocols put in place by your school or local health authorities. By following these back-to-school safety reminders, students and parents can have peace of mind knowing that they are doing everything in their power to keep themselves and others safe. By working together, we can ensure that this school year is safe and successful.
Texas Department of Transportation. “School Bus Safety.” Texas Department of Transportation, www.txdot.gov/safety/driving-laws/school-bus-safety.html.
Parent Resources / Safety. Parent Resources / Safety, www.houstonisd.org/Page/76982.
Action for Healthy Kids. “Bike to School.” Action for Healthy Kids, 18 Feb. 2022, www.actionforhealthykids.org/activity/bike-to-school/.
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