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Safety tips can make back-to-school incident free

With the new school year beginning on Tuesday, September 3, it is important for students and the public to remember they need to exercise additional caution on or around school campuses.

It is important for parents to remember to always set a good example for children, whether walking, riding or driving.

Our schools have designated drop off zones; use them! Because many parents drive their students to school, there can be traffic at schools in the morning and afternoon. Follow the rules established by the school. Your child’s safety is worth a few minutes in traffic.

To ensure maximum safety of all students, San Diego Unified School District suggests students and parents abide by the following guidelines set by the National Safe Kids Campaign (www.safekids.org/tips/tips.html).

In addition, San Diego Unified’s website has many tips for pedestrian safety in both English (http://www.sandi.net/safeschools/index.htm) and Spanish (http://www.sandi.net/safeschools/index_sp.htm).

Here are a few reminders.

Walking to School

Teach children the following pedestrian safety rules:

  • Do not cross the street alone if you're younger than age 10.
  • Never play in the road.
  • Always try to walk on paths or sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks or paths, walk facing road traffic.
  • Look both ways for danger before and while crossing the street.
  • Dress in bright colors or wear reflective materials so drivers can easily see you.

Driving

  • Follow school traffic rules for dropping off students. Be aware of crosswalks
  • Every person riding in a car or truck needs his or her own seat belt. Do not let passengers ride in storage areas or on other people's laps.
  • Children should always ride in a back seat restrained in a car seat or safety belt.

Bicycles

  • Wear a bicycle or motorcycle helmet on every ride (state law).
  • Ride so drivers and cyclists can see you.
  • Look both ways for oncoming vehicles before turning or crossing a street. Go only when it is clear.
  • Watch out for potholes, cracks, rocks, wet leaves, storm grates, railroad tracks or anything that could make you lose control of your bike.
  • Make sure your bike fits your height, weight and age.

Riding the Bus

  • Have children arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus. Children should stay out of the street while waiting and not horseplay.
  • Urge children to remain seated on the bus at all times and not shout or distract the driver. Children should know to keep their head and arms inside the bus at all times.
  • Make sure children know to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting on or off. Children should be made aware that the driver has a “blind spot” -- the area from the front of the bus to about 10 feet in front of the bus - and they should not walk in this area after getting off.