With the new school year rounding the corner, AAA is reminding motorists to drive carefully and take extra precautions when driving near schools.
Starting its 85th annual Schools Open program this August, the AAA released six safety tips to help protect children, especially ones who are attending school for the first time and haven’t experienced dealing with traffic.
AAA’s safety tips: When in school zones, watch for a reduced speed limit that becomes effective when schools are in session, remember the law regarding stopping before passing a school bus that is stopped to pickup or drop off children, watch for youngsters riding bicycles, which may appear from blind spots suddenly, a reminder for parents to map out their children’s safety way to and from school, remember that traffic hazards increase during drop off and pick up times, school traffic controls such as stop signs, traffic signals, adult crossing guards and safety patrols are now operating and a driver’s habits must change to look for and obey these special controls and anticipate the actions of young students and be ready for reducing speeds in areas when they are present.
"The opening of school is a hectic time for everyone," AAA Vice President Mike Right said in a statement. "Children are excited to be going back to school and to their friends. Parents are trying to get to work and get their children to school one time. Often, they’re distracted and may not be focused on basic traffic safety practices."
According to a AAA news release, it’s important to remember that children are not small adults and that children may also make the mistake of assuming that if they can see a car that driver can see them — often motorists have a difficult time seeing children because of their small stature.
"Traffic safety is all the more important where children are concerned, and unfortunately, statistic bears out the fact that children under the age of 15 account for nearly 50 percent of all pedestrian accidents," Right said in the release.
AAA encourages motorists to use the information and safety guidelines to ease the great burden that is on them when it comes to this issue.