Back To School Safe Driving


For many, Labor Day Weekend marks the end of summer and school to start. With school resuming, that means it is time to review school safety driving skills and break summer season driving habits around schools.

For motorists, obey the 20-mph school-zone speed limit. Many roadways with nearby schools also have flashing yellow lights and signs, reminding motorists of marked school zones. And now, some school zones have speed zone cameras.

School buses are a key issue and deserve a refresher. All drivers traveling on a two-lane road shall stop when a school bus has its red lights flashing and the paddle stop sign extended. When school bus lights are yellow prior to stopping, slow down and prepare to stop, and avoid zipping around the bus before it stops with red lights flashing. On multi-lane roadways, only motorists driving in the same direction as the bus need to stop.

Many students walk or ride bicycles to and from school, and many areas do not have sidewalks meaning those students will be on the side of the road. Be fully aware of crossing zones and stop when students and crossing volunteers show flags for safe crossings. For bicycles, provide at least 3 feet of passing space at a slow speed to avoid collisions. It is also important for students walking or cycling to and from school to also follow the rules of the road by commuting in a safe manner – the rules of the road apply equally.

Law enforcement plans to have emphasis patrols in place around many schools this month. Hence, these school safety reminders are critical. Fines for passing stopped school buses and speeding through school zones are steep, and will adversely impact driving records and insurance rates.

All of these school safety driving skills become increasingly important as the days grow shorter and nights longer along with the weather turning foggy, wet and cooler.