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Back to School Safety: Tips for Driving and Walking in School Zones

Photo of several children walking to school in a crosswalk.
Students are returning to school so be cautious when driving in and around school zones and neighborhoods.

The end of summer means millions of children will be returning to school in the coming weeks. It's important to be extra cautious while driving as activity increases in school zones and large numbers of students make their way to and from school. Follow these simple tips to help ensure that children reach school safely.

Driving in and around school zones

  • Put away your cell phone. It's a good idea no matter where you're driving, but especially in school zones where children are gathered.

  • Always obey school zone speed limits until you're safely out of the school zone.

  • Watch for children gathered around school buses or at crosswalks.

  • If your morning route takes you through a school zone, give yourself extra time so that you're not rushed and taking unnecessary chances.

  • Drop off and pick up your children only in the school's designated areas.

  • Keep an extra eye out for children in the late afternoon and early evening on school days. With extracurricular activities, many students travel home later in the day.

For children walking or biking to school

  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked vehicles.

  • Cross the street only at designated crosswalks. Look both left and right and left again before crossing.

  • If a driver is stopped, make eye contact before crossing.

  • Always obey crossing guards.

  • Always wear bike helmets when biking to school. Stay on sidewalks or biking lanes and obey all safety rules regarding crossing streets.

For more information and tips see Back to School Safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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