The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Opinion

August 3, 2013

Editorial: Drive safely as kids head back to school

It seems like we barely clean out the garage or get the garden going and the school year begins.

As classes get underway, family emotions run the gamut as kids get prepared to hop on the bus or slide into the car. But not all motorists have the same awareness that school families experience this time of year.

The first rule should be obvious to drivers: Go slow. Drive the posted speed limit in neighborhoods and near schools.

When children are late for the bus, they can easily dart from nowhere into the street. Drivers must be alert to those kids who have been playing at home all summer and feel almost too comfortable in crossing streets.

The National Safety Council notes that the area 10 feet around a bus is where children are most in danger of being hit. Motorists should stop their vehicles far enough away to allow children to safely go near their bus.

When you see a school bus, remember that it is illegal to pass a bus that has stopped to load or unload children. Traffic in both directions need to stop on undivided roads when students are entering or exiting a school bus.

Granted, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that riding a bus to school is 13 times safer than riding in a passenger vehicle and 10 times safer than walking to school. But the agency also notes that children who lose their lives in bus-related crashes are usually pedestrians who are 4 to 7 years old.

And with daylight still with us until 8 in the evening, we can’t just limit our student-wise driving to the 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. school hours.

Be alert this school season — all hours of the day. Let’s help our kids get to school safely.

 

In summary Kids are heading back to school so motorists should be alert to keep students safe. Poll question How aware do you think you are when driving during days when schools are in session? -- I'm as alert as I can be -- I don't pay attention until I see a child or drive in a school zone -- I'm lousy

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