schools open drive carefullyMornings can be a dangerous time, as students travel to the bus stop, ride their bikes or walk to school. Afternoon introduces additional risks because children are often distracted by thoughts of playtime and other activities on their journey home. Motorists need to be especially vigilant during these times. School zone speed limits are in place to help motorists slow down and save lives.

Drivers Tips to Keep School Children Safe

  • Limit distractions such as cell phones, CD players or other devices that cause you to take your eyes off the road. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.
  • Stay Alert and slow down in or near school and residential areas. Don’t rush into and out of driveways. Expect pedestrians on the sidewalk, especially around schools and in neighborhoods.
  • Stop at stop signs. It sounds obvious, but research shows that more than one third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods.
  • Look for clues such as School Safety Patrols, Adult Crossing Guards, bicycles, and playgrounds, which indicate children could be in the area.
  • Drive with your headlights on - even during the day - so children and other drivers can see you.
  • Always stop for school buses that are loading/unloading students.
  • Pay particular attention near schools during the morning and afternoon hours and plan ahead. Leave early for your destination and build extra time for congestion.
  • Practice extra caution in adverse weather conditions.

Safe Walking Tips for Children

  • Always obey Adult Crossing Guards and AAA School Safety Patrols.
  • Before crossing - look all ways.
  • Obey all traffic signals.
  • Use crosswalks and corners to cross the road.
  • Where there is no sidewalk and it is necessary to walk in the roadway, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as possible.
  • Avoid crossing between parked cars.
  • Watch for cars. Be sure that the way is clear before you cross.

For more information on your state’s laws, try the following websites/telephone:
New Jersey - New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission - School Bus Inspection Unit 609-633-9473

Remember, school's open - drive carefully. You can make a difference just by staying alert and taking the extra care while driving where children are present.