Editorial: Slow down, watch for kids
It's back-to-school time for young people and everyone needs to use their best street-smarts to stay safe.
Here are some tips, offered by the DPS, for pedestrians, motorists and for parents to review with their school-age children:
When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road).
Before crossing the street, take five "giant steps" out from the front of the bus, or until the driver's face can be seen.
Wait for the driver to signal that it's safe to cross.
Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Keep watching traffic when crossing.
Cross only at intersections or crosswalks.
Obey all traffic signs and signals.
Do not enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is too close or moving too fast to stop safely.
Remember, the law requires pedestrians take responsibility for their own safety.
Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and/or its stop arm is extended when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
Red flashing lights on buses indicate students are either entering or exiting the bus.
Motorists are not required to stop for a bus if the bus is on the opposite side of a separated roadway (median, etc.) -- but they should remain alert for children.
Altering a route or schedule to avoid a bus is one way motorists can help improve safety. In doing so, motorists won't find themselves behind a bus and as a result, potentially putting children at risk.
Watch for school crossing patrols and pedestrians. Reduce speeds in and around school zones.
Watch and stop for pedestrians - the law applies to all street corners, for both marked and unmarked crosswalks (all street corners) - every corner is a crosswalk.
Don't forget, school is back in session - everyone be careful out there.