It's that time of year again in West Georgia, where kids start another year of learning at school. Whether it be by bus, walking, or riding a bike, the increased traffic and congestion on the road can de dangerous. Below are a few back to school safety tips to think about.
Tips for Driving in a School Zone
In Georgia, school zone's are usually clearly marked and have a posted speed limit which is slower than the surrounding roadway. When driving through a school zone it is always important to limit distractions. Additional safety tips include:
Slow down and drive extra cautiously.
Do not load or unload children across the street from the school, if possible.
Do not double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles, and can lead to an extremely bad outcome.
Be prepared for kids to appear in unexpected places, like from between parked cars; particularly around elementary schools or other schools with younger children.
If children ride bikes to school where you live, prepare for them to turn in front of you without looking or signaling.
If you need to use your phone, be sure you’re pulled over safely, or just wait to use it when you reach your ultimate destination.
If possible, carpool to reduce the number of cars at school.
Never block a crosswalk; it forces pedestrians to go around you and could put them in the path of moving traffic.
Tips for Driving Safely When You See a School Bus in West Georgia
NEVER pass a school bus that has it's lights on.
According to NSC, most children who lose their lives in school bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old and are hit by the bus or by a motorist passing a bus that’s stopped to load or unload children—something that’s illegal in all 50 states.
If you’re driving behind a school bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car—at least three car lengths.
Stay alert for flashing lights on a bus, which warn drivers of an impending stop. Treat yellow flashing lights the same as a yellow stop light and decrease your speed. Stop when you see red flashing lights.
The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough away to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
Georgia Traffic Laws Regarding School Buses
Two-lane Roads – ALL vehicles traveling in ALL lanes must stop when a school bus stops for children.
Two-lane Roads with a Center Turning Lane – ALL vehicles traveling in ALL lanes must stop when the school bus stops for children, including vehicles in the turning lane.
Four-lane Roads Without a Median Separation – ALL vehicles traveling in ALL lanes must stop when the school bus stops for children.
Roadway of Four or More Lanes with a Center Turning Lane – ALL vehicles traveling in ALL lanes must stop when a school bus stops for children, including vehicles in the turning lane.
Divided Highway of Four or More Lanes with a Median Separation – If a school bus is stopped on a divided highway that has four or more lanes with a raised median or other physical barrier, only vehicles traveling in the same direction of the school bus must stop when the school bus stops for children .
Safety Tips for Walking to School
It is always a good idea to practice the walking route with your child before the 1st day of school. While practicing the walk, it would also be a great time to freshen up on pedestrian safety.
Never walk to school with headphones in your ears or while looking at your phone.
Always try to walk on a sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the street, always walk facing traffic.
Before crossing the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming.
Always cross the street at crosswalks. If no crosswalk is available, cross at intersections; never in the middle.
Whenever possible, walk in groups rather than alone.