By Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer at Roseville Police Department
It’s August and that means the start of another school year. Traffic can get a little hectic around schools during this time of the year. Buses are everywhere, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, and harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.
For those reasons, it is even more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention when children are present, especially before and after school. If you are dropping your child off at school, make sure you know the drop-off procedures and allow extra time for the added traffic. According to the National Safe Routes to School program, more children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location. You might think that young children are the most likely to be hit by a car; however, that is not the case. Children ages 15-19 are the new demographic most likely to be hit by a car. This is often due to teens using mobile devices while walking.
So, if you find yourself driving near a school, remember the following tips:
When children are present, school zones require you to obey the posted 25 mph or slower speed limit, regardless of the day of week or time of day. For example, if it’s a Friday night at 10 pm and you are in a school zone when kids are present (maybe a football game or dance just ended), you are still required to adjust your speed to obey the slower school zone speed limit.
When a school bus stops with its red lights flashing and/or its stop sign is raised, you must stop from either direction until all kids are safely across the street and the bus lights stop flashing (unless the school bus is stopped on the other side of a multilane or divided highway).
Near high school campuses, bear in mind that a higher amount of the motorists are newly licensed teenage drivers who may not have as much driving know-how. Watch out and drive defensively.
Be careful at crosswalks. Now that school is in session it is time to double check those intersections. Just when you think the coast is clear, a student may appear from nowhere and dart across the street. Make sure to make a full stop at stop signs. This will give you ample time to make sure the crosswalk is clear before proceeding.
We all know that kids can be unpredictable. Be especially careful in the school zone. Make sure that driving has your full attention. Put down that cell phone. There is nothing more important than the safety of children.