Lifesaving Tips for Traveling Through School Zones
School zones present special challenges for drivers of all ages, especially during the first few weeks of September.
“We want parents to make safety a top priority for their teens as they head back to school this fall,” said Ashley Sharaky, spokesperson for California’s Office of Traffic Safety. “Of course, these reminders apply not only to back-to-school season, but throughout the school year.”
The same rules that help adults get to work on time should be learned by younger drivers, Sharaky said. Knowing your route and leaving a few minutes early can reduce the risk of being caught in a traffic jam or in construction, and don’t perform tasks like eating and grooming behind the wheel, the office advised.
School zones that have been minimally populated during the last few months will be bustling again, the office said, so motorists need to be vigilant when driving through school zones and residential areas.
“Drivers should always follow the posted speed limit inside school zones, which is often a 25 mph maximum but may be as low as 15,” she said.
OTS offered these back-to-school tips for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians:
- Children riding the bus should keep their hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times, remain seated and not distract the driver.
- Bikers and walkers should recognize that drivers don’t always see them. In many states such as California, children bicyclists are required to wear a helmet.
- Create a driving plan. Giving yourself plenty of time to get to your destination can eliminate the temptation to drive aggressively. Test drive alternate routes during non-school hours to see if they are reliable.
- Be on the watch for unpredictable children, especially in school zones. Children may cross the street without looking or run in front of the school bus they just got off of.
- Avoid temptation and distractions. Don’t text, eat or groom yourself while driving. Pull into a parking lot.