BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – Governor Brad Little has officially proclaimed the week of Sept. 10 to be Idaho School Zone Safety Week, and AAA is sharing reminders to help protect children traveling to and from school.
“Every year, a new batch of kids is heading to school for the first time, but the primary responsibility falls on drivers to keep them safe,” AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde said. “We plead with drivers to slow down and watch for children in residential neighborhoods and school zones. In some cases, it may faster for drivers to take a different route altogether.”
For more than 75 years, AAA’s School’s Open, Drive Carefully campaign has served as a timely reminder to get the school year started on a safe and positive note. Here are some of AAA’s tips:
- 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.