Every year at about this time, the pools and lakes empty out and the school bells ring once more. School is back in session. During this season, it’s important that we remind ourselves that our most precious commodity is on the roads, once again, to and from school. Here are some important tips for back to school safety in Minnesota.
Sharing the Road with Cyclists
Many children and adolescents ride their bikes to school. It’s important to watch for cyclists and remember that while bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as motor vehicle drivers, most children are not able to properly determine traffic conditions in the same way as adults:
- Slow down when passing a bicyclist, and leave three feet between your car and the rider.
- Wait for the bicyclist to pass before turning left if there is a rider approaching in the opposite direction.
- Be prepared for bikes coming from driveways or from behind parked cars.
- Before opening your car door, check your side mirror.
- If you are turning right and a cyclist is approaching on the right, allow the rider to go through the intersection first.
Dropping Off Children at School
When dropping off or picking up children at school, be aware of the particular rules of the school. The school will have very specific rules for drop-off and pickup:
- Carpooling is a great way to reduce the number of vehicles at your school.
- Avoid loading or unloading children across the street from the school.
- Avoid double parking. It blocks visibility for other vehicles and children.
Sharing the Road with School Buses
Now that school is back in session, buses filled with children will be out on the roads. Be alert when driving on the roads with them. When the buses are stopped, there will be children present, likely running in unpredictable ways, so take caution and look in all directions before proceeding:
- Allow a greater distance when following a bus than if you were following a car.
- Do not pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
- Traffic in both directions must stop if the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended.
- Allow 10 feet around a school bus as a space for children to travel around to get on and off the bus.
Sharing the Road with Small Pedestrians
It’s a very sad statistic that most of the pedestrian related fatalities involving children happen to those between the ages of 4 and 7. There is much drivers can do to look out for these smaller pedestrians who are quick, yet unaware of their surroundings, to keep them safe.
- Be extra careful to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks and in residential areas.
- If a vehicle is stopped for pedestrians, do not pass it.
- Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign.
- Avoid blocking crosswalks when stopped at a traffic light. This forces pedestrians out into the street.
- Avoid being an aggressive driver. This means avoiding honking and revving your engine at pedestrians, no matter who has the right of way.
Driving safely is priority number one for us. Now that our children are back in school, we exercise extreme attention to these steps for back to school safety in Minnesota. K-Way Express, Inc. is your solution for on time and safe delivery of raw materials or finished products to your client’s doorstep. We want to be your trusted trucking company in Minnesota. Give us a call today to learn more!