School routes are everywhere, so drive like it!” That means slowing down, staying alert, and generally driving with extra caution in and around schools and neighborhoods bordering them.

Tips for safety

Drivers should take care in their own neighborhoods, near bus stops and in school zones and keep an eye out for children and families walking and rolling to and from school. Slowing down and avoiding distractions – cell phones, loud music, even conversations – will help you react more quickly. That’s especially important because children are going back to school while the days are slowly getting shorter and darker.

Keep in mind that children aren’t the best at gauging distance and speed or knowing when it’s safe to cross a street. They may dart into the street to catch a bus without checking for traffic.

Here are some things drivers can do to make sure students are safe as they head back to classrooms:

In school zones and around the neighborhood

  • Slow down – A safe speed may be below the posted speed.
  • Drive for conditions – Slower speeds help people driving to see more around them, especially in low light conditions.
  • Take care backing up – Remember children may be walking to their bus stop or biking to school.
  • Obey traffic rules – They’re there to keep us all safe. That means no U-turns, double parking, stopping in crosswalks or turning on red where not allowed.
  • Yield to pedestrians – At crosswalks, intersections or in the middle of the street, yield the way.
  • Watch for school buses –
    • Drive with caution and prepare to stop for a school bus when its overhead lights flash yellow.
    • Stop when a school bus’s overhead lights are flashing red, no matter which way you’re traveling. Only proceed once the bus starts moving again and the red lights stop flashing.