Back-to-school tips for parents, students and motorists from Red Cross
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - It is time for students to go back to school, with area schools starting back throughout August.
The American Red Cross offers ten ways to help make sure students are safe as they head back to school:
- If your student rides a bus to school, they should plan to get to the bus stop early and stand away from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive.
- Students should board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has instructed them to get on. They should only board their bus, never an alternate one.
- All students should stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
- Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk.
- Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
- If children go to school in a car, they should always wear a seat belt. Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4′9″), and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
- If a teenager is going to drive to school, parents should mandate that they use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls and avoid eating or drinking while driving.
- Some students ride their bike to school. They should always wear a helmet and ride on the right, in the same direction as the traffic is going.
- When children are walking to school, they should only cross the street at an intersection, and use a route along which the school has placed crossing guards.
- Parents should walk young children to school, along with children taking new routes or attending new schools, at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Arrange for students to walk to school with a friend or classmate.
The Red Cross recommends parents have their students know their parent’s phone numbers, address, how to get in touch with their parents at work, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to dial 911.
Ensure students know not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they do not know.
Drivers, be aware and slow down.
Drivers should slow down as children head back to school, the Red Cross said. Know that yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is getting ready to stop and drivers should slow down and be prepared to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign indicate the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off.
Motorists must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped, according to the Red Cross. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety. This includes two and four-lane highways. If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.
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