Students are headed back to the classroom. This means that school zones, bus stops, and crosswalks are going to be congested and potentially hazardous. Keeping the children in our community safe should always be top-of-mind. Here are some tips and reminders from the Newton Police Department about how you can help keep children safe as they head back to school.
Sharing the Road with School Buses:
- Unpredictable situations can occur and it's important to create as much of a safety zone for buses as possible.
- If you see flashing yellow lights, red lights, or the stop sign arm is extended, all traffic on both sides of the road MUST stop.
- Stop at least 10 feet from around the school bus. Allow pedestrians enough room to safely enter and exit the bus.
- Never pass a bus from behind. If it's stopped, they could be loading or unloading children or pedestrians.
Driving to School Tips:
- Watch for children who are walking or riding their bikes to school. There are many distractions. Pedestrians can be in unexpected places while they're traveling to school. It's very important to be aware of your surroundings.
- Never block a crosswalk. If you do, pedestrians will have to go around your vehicle and it could put them in the path of moving traffic.
- Do not double park. It can block visibility for pedestrians and vehicles.
- Follow the instructions form school administration about drop-off and pickup. Do not unload children across the street from the school.
- Yield in a school zone when you see flashers blinking and stop when pedestrians are using a crosswalk or intersection.
- Slow down, drive the speed limit, and stay off your cell phones.
Riding the Bus to School:
- Arrive at the bust stop early; stand 6 feet (away from the curb).
- Always wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the bus driver signals for you to board.
- If you have to cross in front of the bus – do it in front of the bus and make eye contact with the drive. Never walk behind the bus.
- Wait for the bus to stop before getting on or off the bus; face forward after finding a seat on the bus, stay in your seat and keep the aisles clear.
- Exit the bus after it stops and look left, right and left again for cars before crossing a street.
Walking to School:
- Watch the road.
- Use sidewalks whenever it's possible.
- When crossing the road, use a marked crosswalk whenever it’s possible; and always stop and look left, right and left again before crossing the road.
- Never play, push, or shove others when you walk near or around traffic.
- Always watch the road, not your phones.
Riding Your Bike to School:
- Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, and in a single file. Use a bike path or sidewalk whenever it's possible.
- Come to a complete stop before crossing the street; walk bikes across the street. Use a crosswalk whenever it's possible.
- Stay alert and avoid distracted riding. Turn off your music.
- Always wear properly fitted helmets, safety gear, and bright clothing.