With Labor Day behind us, it’s time for children in Michigan to head back to school. State law requires the new year start after Labor Day.
Law enforcement officials are reminding drivers to watch out for students walking and getting on and off school busses. National statistics show in 2013, two million more drivers passed school bus stop arms than they did in 2011. Experts blame it on distracted driving.
Each year more than 100 students are killed and 25,000 are hurt in accidents getting to or from school, experts say.
When a bus’ yellow lights are flashing, that means drivers should slow down; when the red lights flash, and a stop sign extends from the side of the bus, drivers in both directions are required to stop.
via Drivers urged to slow down as students head back to school.
When summer comes to an end, children get ready to go back to school. This is a great time for parents to talk to their kids about how to safely travel to and from school. Following a few safety tips can help prevent children from suffering serious injuries.
School Bus Safety Tips
- Children riding the bus to school should learn and practice a few safety rules for getting on and off the bus.
- Get to the bus stop early. Do not run to the bus.
- Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before walking toward it.
- If crossing the street, wait for a signal from the bus driver. Look both ways to make sure there is no moving traffic from either direction.
- Always cross in front of the bus so the driver can see you.
- If the bus has lap and shoulder belts, use them.
- Once the bus is in motion, remain in your seat.
- If the window is open, keep your arms and head inside the bus at all times.
- Do not stand up to get off the bus until it has completely stopped.
- Only get off the bus at your assigned spot.
Walking Safety Tips
- Children should only walk to school alone if they are old enough and ready to make the walk safely.
- Children are not ready to walk to school without an adult until they are at least 10 years old.
- Younger kids cannot be trusted to make smart traffic choices on their own.
- Plan and practice a safe walking route with your child until she knows it well.
- Use streets with sidewalks, crosswalks and crossing guards. Avoid as many intersections as possible.
- Have children walk with a friend or in a group.
- Talk to your child about what to do if they are approached by a stranger.
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Drivers should be aware of children walking to school or to the bus stop. Everyone can follow a few safety tips to help kids get to school safely.
- When backing out of the driveway, watch for children walking to school or to a bus stop.
- On streets without crossing guards, watch out for children trying to cross the street.
- Be careful on streets without sidewalks or streets with on-street parking. It might be hard to notice a child behind a car.
- Be alert. Children may dart into the street without looking.
- Slow down.
via Injury Research and Policy Back-to-School Safety :: Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.
As the school year gets underway, it’s great to see more kids walking to – and from – school. We want to remind parents and drivers to do their part to keep these kids safe. One fun idea is walking the route to school with your child to find the best places to cross the street or discuss the importance of making eye contact with drivers before you step into the road.
Here are a few other tips that will help keep everyone safe.
Tips for Walkers
- Developmentally, most kids can’t judge speeds and distances until at least age 10, so younger kids need to cross with an adult
- Did you know most walking injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than intersections? Whenever possible, cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
- Look left, right and left again before crossing the street, and keep looking and listening while crossing
- Walk, don’t run, when crossing the street
- It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths, but if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
- Remove headphones when crossing the street
- If you need to use your phone, stop walking
- Distraction among drivers is at an all-time high today, so try to make eye contact with the driver before you step into the road
Tips For Drivers
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones, before and after school hours
- Most walkers are injured mid-block, not at intersections, so watch out for kids who may dart into traffic or cross where they shouldn’t
- Give pedestrians the right of way at a crosswalk
- Using cell phones, even hands-free, makes it harder for drivers to be alert to walkers who may also be distracted on cell phones.
via Protect Kids as They Head Back to School.