REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI) - The school year is coming fast as many of our local school districts start classes Tuesday. Part of the focus of area first responders is keeping students in the region safe so they can get to school, learn new things and enjoy their favorite subjects.
First responders remind us to help by making sure students have some light colored clothing. Madison County Sheriff's office spokesperson Sergeant Isaac Payne says there's a huge plus to wearing bright colors especially on the way to school in the mornings.
"With the summer leaving us, sadly, we see those winter weather and the winter weather means shorter days, limited visibility, especially in those dusk times in the morning, afternoon and evening. It's going to be limited visibility. And so the brighter the colors your children are wearing, the easier they are to see by drivers. So it just ultimately makes them safer if they're wearing something that's easily seen," Payne said.
He says the best rule of thumb is to use bright colors for clothes jackets and backpacks but adding extra reflective material can help.
"You could use reflective wear, but oftentimes isn't even that extreme. You can just make sure they're wearing bright colors and and are paying attention to the roadways," he said.
Sergeant Payne also says many of the clothes kids like to wear already add things to them to help make them more visible.
"Some of these products come already pre-installed. They're already on there and that's great. But there's after ones you can buy, they can just stick on things. And those are cool to the kids generally don't mind them. So it's not a style thing for them. They they like being seen. They like they like those reflective images on their on their coats, on their backpacks, even the bright colored the shoes that light up seem silly, but those are helpful. Anything that can make them more visible to drivers will be making their their route safer as they go to and from school."
He says if your commute to work includes a school zone, make sure you stay alert.
"A lot of times we're familiar with those routes. We know where the crosswalks are. So we should be looking for those crosswalks. Even if we don't particularly see somebody in them. We should be slowing down and getting ready for those crosswalks, looking for crossing guards, and just anticipating that there's going to be a lot of pedestrian traffic in those areas, such as all in general, even that there's a posted speed limit like any speed limit, really, you can go slower than that."
Sergeant Payne also added, "Follow those posted speed limits. We're not going to get there any faster because there's no passing in school zones, right. So he says just mind those posted speed limits. Each school has a system, so follow those drop off systems and make sure you're not parking or driving anywhere you're not supposed to be, for example, handicapped spots or places that cars shouldn't even go."
He says for kids who walk to school, "One that I tell kids around here all the time is to use, you know, commonly traveled paths. So use sidewalks, use crosswalks, don't cut through lawns or fields. That way, people know where you are and what you're doing."