School started this week for most kids in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I again saw a lot walking to school and being dropped off this morning as I ran before work. It is mandatory that we all slow down and pay attention to the road and talk to our children about traffic safety.
Watching Out for Kids During the School Year
As you shuttle your children to school by opening bell then race to work, the temptation to speed or to quickly check your email is understandable. Resist the urge and follow these school year traffic laws:
- Never use a cell phone while driving through a school zone
- Do not speed, especially in a school zone
- Comply with the school’s drop-off and pickup procedures
- Be aware that kids could dart out in front of your car at any moment
- Do not pass a bus that has stopped and activated its flashing red lights
Careful driving not only ensures the safety of kids, but also avoids a very expensive ticket. Texting or talking on the phone while driving through a school zone can result in a $200 ticket. Passing a school bus while its flashing red lights are engaged can cost up to $1000 in fines.
School Bus Safety Tips for Your Kids
The school bus is the safest mode of transportation. But, accidents can occur. You can help minimize the risks of an accident by teaching your children important safety rules. Tell your kids to:
- Remain on the sidewalk while waiting from the bus
- Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and for its doors to open before approaching
- Only cross the street when the bus driver signals it is safe to do so
- Always look both ways for traffic before crossing the street
- Stay seated until reaching school or the bus stop
Safe Walking and Biking Tips for Your Kids
If you live near the school, your kids may be able to walk or bike to classes. An elementary school happens to be on my morning training course. I always see dozens of kids biking and walking and I appreciate the exercise, independence and fresh air they experience before the start of the school day.
I also sometimes witness speeding and texting drivers oblivious to the risks to these kids.
You can protect your kids from these reckless drivers by teaching them to:
- Walk on the sidewalk
- Cross the street only at designated crosswalks and intersections
- Look both ways before stepping off the curb, even if they have the light
- Look for traffic before stepping off the bus
- Obey traffic signals even if there is no traffic
- Obey police officers and crossing guards
- Wear a helmet while riding a bike
Berenson Injury Law Wishes Students a Great Year in School
All of us hope that our North Texas students have a wonderful — and safe –school year.