It is back to school time here in South Carolina, and if you’re like many families, that means getting back into a routine. Routines are a great way to make sure your life runs smoothly, but you are also at risk at becoming complacent to actively staying safe when you do the same thing five or more times a week. We are talking about transportation to and from school! Once you get the routine down, you might start doing things on “auto pilot” instead of paying attention to things around you. Here are some things to remember daily as school gets underway:
- Driving to school? Be aware of school busses. You must ALWAYS stop when traveling behind a bus with flashing amber or red lights. If you are traveling in the opposite direction of a bus and you see red lights flashing, you must stop as well.
- When should you stop for a bus: when you are on a four lane road and behind a stopped bus, you must stop. If you are coming from another direction, you do not have to stop, but SHOULD slow down and proceed with caution.
- Keep your eyes on the look out for pedestrians. If you do not stop for a bus, and a child is injured, you will be fined over $1,000 with an additional 6 points added to your license.
- School Zones mean you must drive carefully. Always be on the lookout for zone signs, signals and crossing guards.
- Don’t take shortcuts when it comes to drop off rules at school. Drop students off in designated areas only.
- Be a good example and wear your seatbelt. Don’t start your car until you hear a click from everyone’s seatbelt!Buckling your seat belt is the law – it also is smart and safe. Studies show that using a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a vehicle collision by 50%.
- You’ve got a lot going on, but put the phone down. It can wait. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting. Is that work email worth risking you and your kid’s lives? No.
- Make sure your child knows where to wait on the bus, and that they are on time. Students should be waiting at the bus stop approximately 5-10 minutes ahead of their scheduled pick up times. This allows drivers to adjust to new routes and schedules. Students should wear bright colors which helps with visibility with drivers. Students must stand at least 12 feet from the road. Remind your child how to practice safety while waiting on the bus!
9. Make sure your child ONLY crosses streets at designated crosswalks, street corners and traffic controlled intersections. Drivers may be distracted, but if your child is paying attention, it could save their life.