The New Year 2013 has begun, and winter break is almost over for the students in Palm Beach County. That means more traffic. Parents commuting their children to and from school, school buses out on the road, and a lot of children walking to and from school.
Courtesy of Dori Slosberg Foundation, the Florida Department of Transportation, and the Community Safety Program are just reminding motorists and pedestrians to take extra traffic safety precautions. It has been said that the beginning of the school year has an increased risk of transportation related incidents. Here we provide just a few tips to help make your commute to and from school/work a little safer.
Tips for Motorists:
• Do not text or talk on your cell phone while driving.
• Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
• Be alert for school zones that have a reduced speed limit at designated times of the day.
• Watch for school buses. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopping to load or unload children.
• Be alert for children playing and gathering near bus stops and for those who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
• When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking to school.
Tips for Parents:
• Be a good role model.
• Always buckle up in the car, always wear a helmet when biking, and always follow pedestrian safety rules.
• Supervise young children as they are walking or biking to school or as they wait at the school bus stop.
• If your child is under 4 years old and weighs less than 40 pounds, make sure the child is properly buckled up in a weight-appropriate child safety seat in the back seat.
• Children, ages 4 to 8, weighing over 40 pounds and measuring four feet nine inches or less should ride in a booster seat.
• In addition, safety experts advise that all children under the age of 12 should ride in the back seat.
• Make sure that your teen driver understands and obeys all traffic laws.
Tips for Students:
• Always buckle up when riding in a car.
• Be sure to remove your backpack before getting in the vehicle.
• Never buckle your safety belt with your backpack on.
• Always ride in the back seat. It’s the safest place for young people.
• Always wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules when riding your bike.
• If you ride a school bus, learn and practice the safety rules for waiting at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus.
• It’s extremely important for you to use sidewalk when available, look left-right-left when crossing the road, and always walk facing traffic.
• Always cross at crosswalks; obey all traffic signs, traffic lights and crossing guard instructions.
• Cross railroad tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
• Do not walk, run or ride your bicycle down railroad tracks. It's illegal and dangerous.
• Teen drivers should avoid speeding and distractions while driving, such as texting, talking on cell phones, eating and adjusting the radio.
• Teens are also reminded never to overload their vehicle; everyone riding in a vehicle must use a safety belt.
We hope that these tips have been a helpful reminder and will be put to great use. Happy new year, and stay safe!