School Time Safety
It has been a hot but great summer with all the family activities that have taken place this year. We in public safety believe that it has been a great summer because we have made it through that time of the year where all the kids are out doing their things and having fun. However, with the end of summer vacation and school starting, here are a few child safety tips that we want to remind citizens about to keep kids safe this school year.
Bus Stop Safety:
- Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk or ride the bus as a safety partner.
- If appropriate and possible, walk or drive children to the bus stop. Take turns with other parents in the neighborhood and act as safety coaches till the bus picks them up.
- Teach children to not play in the street while waiting for the bus to arrive. Children are easily distracted and may not notice an approaching vehicle.
- Teach children to not approach the bus until it has come to a full stop.
- Teach children to check for traffic before crossing a street prior to getting on or off of the bus.
- Ensure children are wearing bike helmets.
- Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
- Understand and obey traffic control devices, such as stop signs.
- Ensure children wear bright colors for visibility.
- Teach children when crossing streets to cross only at a crosswalk and to walk their bikes across.
- Lock their bikes up at school so they dont become a victim of theft.
- Plan a walking route to school. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards.
- Be sure they walk to and from school with a friend, sibling or neighbor.
- Have children wear bright-colored clothing for visibility.
- Instruct children on what to do if they are approached by a stranger.
Drivers in School Zones:
- Be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
- Drive slowly and anticipate pedestrian traffic
- Take the extra time to actively look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs.
- Stay back from buses when loading and unloading allowing extra space between you and the bus. Turn on emergency blinkers when stopped behind a bus loading or unloading.
- Anticipate the unexpected. We never know what to anticipate from a child. They may dart in and out of traffic without looking.
- Wait your turn, dont become impatient, allow extra time when dropping off or picking up children at school. There are a large number of vehicles and children in a small area. Even the slowest or smallest collision can cause a significant injury to a child.
- Watch those school speed zones. Not only for safety sake but for the sake of your wallet as well. We encourage officers to be proactive in school zones to ensure the safety of the children.
Please let the Washington City Police Department know if you have any questions or need assistance with any of the above information. Thanks for all you do to make our community a great place to be.
Jason Williams, Police Chief