9-1-1 ACOG, AAA Urge Back To School Safety

by Aug 8, 20169-1-1 & Public Safety

Please be careful as Oklahoma students head back to school.

Oklahoma drivers are being urged to stay alert for children walking or biking to schools throughout the region begin classes.

AAA Oklahoma is cautioning motorists to watch out for pedestrians as about 46,000 students in the Oklahoma City district return to school on Monday, August 8. It’s the first district in central Oklahoma to return to class.

AAA spokesman Chuck Mai (my) says the afternoon hours are particularly dangerous for walking children, with nearly one-third of child pedestrian fatalities happening between 3-7 p.m. over the past decade nationally.

Mai says drivers should stay alert in school zones, monitor blind spots while backing up and eliminate potential distractions, such as using cellphones, among other measures.

Back-To-School Safety Tips for Parents

Follow the Speed Limit – Slow down! All schools have reduced speed zones around them; the speed limit in all schools is 15 mph. Following the speed limit reduces the chances of you being in a crash and improves the chances for survival if a crash does occur. The simplest thing any driver can do when there are new driving hazards is slow down.

Allow More Time. As a new school year begins allow yourself more time to get where you are going until you can figure out the effects of increased traffic.

Stay Alert! Make a mental note of any new/existing bus stops or students walking to and from school. This way you won’t be surprised and will be prepared if you need to stop.

Learn the Rules. Schools usually have places for parents to drop off and pick up children. If you are driving your child to school, learn where these areas are and follow the procedures. If you need to, contact the school and ask where you can park your vehicle so traffic can continue to move smoothly.

Stop for School Buses. When the red lights are flashing stop. It is against the law to pass a school us when the lights are on, regardless of location.

Use a What If Strategy. What if that child darts out in front of me? What if that car stops short? Remember young children are not able to accurately determine the speed of an oncoming vehicle and may take risks crossing the street. Use the “what if” strategy to keep you alert.

Yield to Pedestrians. Remember to yield to children/parents in crosswalks. When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk they have the right-of-way.

Carpool. If at all possible, carpool with other parents to pick up and drop off children. This reduces congestion and can even save you money as well as time. Also, if you have an older student who is allowed to drive to school have him/her carpool as well.

Talk with Teen Drivers. Remind your teen drivers about the importance of being extra careful in and around school zones.

Avoid double parking or stopping to let children out of a car. There are areas designated to safely walk children across the street.

Watch out for Crossing Guards and obey their signs.

Buses Make Frequent Stops. Children may unexpectedly run into traffic or out from the bus. When a bus stops, assume children are in the immediate area and be especially attentive.

Help your children learn and practice the safety rules for walking, bicycling, or riding in a passenger car or school bus.

Supervise young children as they are walking or biking to school or as they wait at the school bus stop.

Be a good role model, especially when you are with your kids. Always buckle up in the car, always wear a helmet when biking, and always follow pedestrian safety rules.

Back-To-School Safety Tips for Students

Always buckle up when you’re riding in a car.

Always ride in the back seat. It’s the safest place for children.

Always wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules when riding your bike

If you ride a school bus, learn and practice the safety rules for waiting at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus.

If you walk to school, learn and practice the safety rules for pedestrians.

Always cross at cross walks; obey all traffic signs, traffic lights and School Crossing Guard instructions.

Be a good role model for your younger brothers and sisters and friends, and help them learn and practice the safety rules

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