IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - AAA is issuing another reminder to the state to help protect children traveling to and from school.
This reminder comes as Governor Little proclaims Idaho School Zone Safety Week this week. The campaign gives AAA an opportunity to talk about school safety and making sure that kids are getting to and from school safely.
"Obviously, one of the major concern is that this is the time of year where kids are getting new habits going and we have a new batch of kids doing this for the first time," AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde said.
While keeping children safe in school zones is primarily the driver's responsibility, AAA also gives suggestions to parents and children when getting to and from school safely.
"Well, if you're a kid, one of the things you have to do is is obviously wait for traffic to see you," Conde said. "It's not a bad idea to teach your kid to make eye contact, make sure that a car is stopping for you rather than just crossing and assuming that's going to happen."
Using a crosswalk wherever there is one, and never going in between two cars are important safety suggestions. Reminding children to look left, look right, and look left again will help them become more aware of their surroundings.
According to Conde, there are crashes that happen every year in school zones. One of the most important things that drivers need to be aware of is making sure kids are safe when getting to and from school. He reminds drivers to be actively scanning the road when in a school zone.
"If you're driving through a school zone and you have to slow down for those areas. You're waiting for people to cross things like that. It may actually be better to redesign your route to go a different way. It may seem longer on paper, and it may seem longer during the summer, but when you add a bunch of school zones in, maybe it's faster," Conde said.
As drivers scan the road, slow down, and take alternate routes, they help prevent tragic accidents that impact children and their families. As kids wear helmets, use proper crosswalks, and make eye contact with drivers they can be more aware of oncoming traffic.
"If you have a kid in your life, whether it's your kid or a neighbor's kid or a friend or family member, do your part to make sure that they're safe," Conde said.
LIST OF SAFETY TIPS FROM THE AAA-
· Actively scan the road for pedestrians and bicyclists. Ditch the distractions.
· Strictly observe flashing lights, signs, and signals from crossing guards.
· Teach kids to arrive at least five minutes early to the bus stop and take five giant steps back from the road while waiting for the bus to arrive. Board and exit the bus when it comes to a complete stop. Avoid roughhousing at the bus stop.
· Children should always use a crosswalk where one is available, and never cross between two parked cars.
· When crossing, instruct children to look left, look right, and then look left again (the closest source of oncoming traffic). Remind your kids that backup lights will turn white when a car is backing up.
· Have children wear a helmet when biking or skateboarding to school, even on short rides. Replace the helmet as needed – one crash, helmet in the trash!
· Help kids be a safe passenger by buckling up for every ride and by listening for the ‘click.’
· Remind children to avoid chasing a ball into the road or playing near the street. If they see an animal or a person who makes them feel uncomfortable, tell a trusted adult.
· Never overtake a stopped bus with flashing lights – it’s dangerous and illegal.
· Consider a “walking school bus” where parents take turns leading groups of kids to and from school.