With the new school year set to begin, there are several important safety tips that need to be taken into account, according to Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick.
- Walking to school: Always walk on the sidewalk. If one is not available, walk facing the traffic. Always look in all directions before crossing the street to make sure no cars are coming. Cross at an intersection or street corner and use a crosswalk; never dart out in front of a parked car.
- Taking the bus: Parents should go with their children to the bus stop and teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus. Make sure they stand six feet away from the curb while waiting for the bus. If they need to cross in front of the bus, make sure they are far enough away so that the driver can see them and they can see the driver.
- Riding a bike: Parents should make sure their children always wear their helmets. Teach children to always ride of the right side of the road in a single file and come to a complete stop before crossing the street.
There are also safety tips all drivers should follow to keep children safe when they are on the roads. The National Safety Council reminds drivers:
- Do not block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. Drivers should also never stop with a portion of their vehicle over the crosswalk, because it places pedestrians in a dangerous position by forcing them to go around the vehicle.
- In a school zone when a warning flasher or flashers are blinking, drivers must stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.
- Always stop when directed to do so by a school patrol sign, school patrol officer or designated crossing guard.
- Children are the least predictable pedestrians and the most difficult to see. Take extra care to look out for children not only in school zones, but also in residential areas, playgrounds and parks.
- Drivers should not honk the horn, rev the engine, or do anything to rush or scare a pedestrian in front of their car, even if they have the legal right-of-way.
Families looking for additional information about back to school safety can visit the National Safety Council’s website at www.nsc.org.