Kids and drivers alike must be ‘road ready’ for that first day of school

With the first day of school right around the corner for many children, the Signal Hill Police Department has issued the following information to remind residents to prepare their kids to arrive at school and back home safely on their first, and every, school day. At the same time, drivers need to be extra vigilant as well.
“If at all possible, parents should walk or ride with kids to school before that first day, teaching them the safest routes and their road safety and personal safety rules,” said Signal Hill Police Sergeant Chris Nunley. “Remind your kids how important safety on your streets is to you and them– that they need to be careful every time they leave the house. Drivers, especially those dropping off kids, need to stay focused and on the lookout for children.”
The Signal Hill Police Department will be strictly enforcing traffic and parking laws around school areas. In addition, they offer the following advice:
Safe walking, bicycling and driving practices can only be effective if parents teach their kids early and often, and set good examples themselves:

• Always cross at an intersection or crosswalk, if available, and 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 are no sidewalks, be sure to walk facing traffic to see what’s coming.
• Don’t run between parked cars and buses, 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.

Bike riding
• Always wear a helmet.
• Always ride on the right side of the road– never against traffic.
• Ride single-file.
• Watch out for dangerous things in the roadway, such as storm drains, gravel, pot holes and trash.
• Stop at all stop signs and at all traffic lights. Be extra careful at crossroads.
• Maintain control of your bike. Don’t swerve or make sudden turns.
• Watch out when riding next to parked cars. Drivers may open doors or pull into the street.
• Listen for cars approaching from the side or behind you. Never wear headphones.
• Know road signs and obey them.
• Always be prepared to stop.
• No cell phone talking or texting while riding. Watch what’s going on around you.

• It’s especially important to slow down and watch out for kids at the beginning of the school year. Students are excited, and their uncertainty with the new school schedules may hinder them from paying attention to traffic conditions and their own safety. Simply put, children may not be watching for traffic. California’s maximum speed limit in school zones is 25 miles per hour when children are present and near the road. Remember, ALL drivers are responsible for every child’s safety near school zones or school busses.
• One of the dangers kids may face can actually be other parents. Distracted or hurried parents sometimes forget about safety once their own kids have been dropped off. Stay extra alert in or near school driveways or drop-off zones.
• What’s good for the kids is good for drivers too– no cell phone talking or texting while driving. Watch what’s going on around you, and make sure your kids won’t be calling you while you are driving.
• When school buses stop to load or unload passengers and their 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.

School bus riding
• If your child rides a school bus, make sure that he or she knows to remain seated at all times, to keep the aisles clear, not to throw objects, not to shout or distract the driver, and to keep his or her hands and arms inside the bus.
• The school bus is one of the safest modes of transportation, but everyone must do their part to be safe when traveling near buses that are transporting kids, whether in motion or stopped.

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