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Time to Think About Back to School Road Safety

It seems impossible that the summer is drawing to a close and children will be heading back to school in a few short weeks. However, it is the perfect time to remind children and drivers about exercising caution on San Diego roadways.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 188 school-aged children in California were killed in traffic related crashes in 2010. The majority of these deaths occurred in the afternoon between the after-school hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

In California, August is Back to School Safety Month. As part of its awareness campaign, the Office of Traffic Safety offers the following safety tips:

For Students Walking

  • Always cross at an intersection or crosswalk, if available. Remember to look both ways before crossing
  • When no cars are coming, walk – do not run – across the road, and keep looking for cars while crossing
  • At intersections with traffic lights, watch for turning cars and obey all traffic signals
  • Always walk on the sidewalk if there is one available. If there is not a sidewalk, be sure to walk facing traffic so you can see what’s coming
  • Do not run between parked cars and buses
  • Do not run across the street or through a parking lot
  • No cell phone talking or texting while going to or from school. Watch what’s going on around you

For Drivers

  • Follow all traffic laws and take safety precautions, especially when driving in areas where children may be present. The maximum speed limit in school zones is 25 MPH when children are near the road
  • In school drop off and pick up zones, be extra alert and drive slowly. Watch for your children and all the other children too
  • Do your eating and grooming before leaving home with the children. Keep your cell phone turned off until you reach work
  • Children must be secured in the back seat in an appropriate car seat or booster seat if they are under the age of eight or are less than 4’9” tall
  • When a school bus stops to load or unload passengers and its red lights are flashing, all vehicles must stop – in both directions. If the bus stop is on a divided highway, then only those vehicles approaching from the rear must stop