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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:

School 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.