By Rob Baquera, the Public Information Officer for the City of Roseville Police Department
If you have driven near a Roseville school lately, you may have noticed a huge increase in traffic. Most schools in Roseville opened up a new school year in August, and with it came an increase in traffic. Whether your child takes the bus, walks, rides a bike/scooter/skateboard, or is dropped off by car, getting him/her to and from school safely is a concern for all parents. The beginning of the school year is a great time to review some safety tips. Here are a few for both parents and kids:
DRIVING SAFELY AROUND SCHOOLS
If you are driving around school, here are a few things to remember from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
1. Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean slow down — don’t speed up — because the bus is preparing to stop. There are likely students waiting to get on the bus or parents waiting nearby to pick up children.
2. Red flashing lights mean stop — and wait at least 20 feet behind the bus — because children are getting on or off the school bus. Stay stopped until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving.
3. Watch for children, particularly in the morning or mid-afternoon, around school arrival and dismissal times. Be alert as you back out of a driveway, or drive through a neighborhood, school zone, or bus stop.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN SAFETY TIPS
1. *Memorize important contact information. If age appropriate, have your children memorize your cell phone number, home number, and address. It is good for them to know these in case a situation requires them to contact you.
2. *Make them wear protective gear. If your child rides their bike, scooter, or skateboard to school, make sure he/she wears a helmet.
3. *No running. Children should never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars. Doing so could be very dangerous for them as well as drivers.
4. *Say no to electronic devices. No electronic gadgets should be used while walking. This includes listening to music, talking on the phone, playing games, and watching videos. This is especially true for teenagers. Statistically, teenagers have a higher risk of getting a fatal pedestrian injury the older they are. A study by Safe Kids Worldwide which observed 34,000 middle and high school students crossing the street in a school zone, reported that one in every five high school students and one in every eight middle school students were observed crossing the street while distracted by technology.
5. Never go anywhere without checking with someone first. Teach your child to first check with you or the person in charge of them (coach, teacher, babysitter, etc.) before going anywhere with anyone.
Sitting down with your children to talk about safety is an important step in keeping them safe. Let them know they can come to you with any questions or concerns. Make safety a part of your ongoing conversation with your children.