School is back in session so let’s have class in some basic safety tips. First, use extra caution while driving as excited students will be walking, bicycling, driving, riding buses and may not be paying attention while traveling to and from school. Yes, if we ever needed you to put down those cell phones and pay attention, that time is now, reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.”

Remember, it’s illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. School buses use yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are preparing to stop to load or unload children. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm signals to motorists that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus. The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit. Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children the necessary space to safely enter and exit the bus. Be alert. Children are unpredictable. Children walking to or from their bus are usually very comfortable with their surroundings. This makes them more likely to take risks, ignore hazards, or fail to look both ways when crossing the street.

Do not block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. Do not stop with a portion of your vehicle over the crosswalk. In a school zone when a warning flasher or flashers are blinking, you must stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.

Look out for children not only in school zones, but also in residential areas, playgrounds, and parks. Now that’s just the first lesson says Chief DiGiovanna.

For additional information contact your local Police Department or visit: www.rd.com/advice/parenting/back-to-school-safety-tips

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

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