August is Back to School Safety Month, and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) encourages everyone to be extra careful around schools.
“With the school year starting soon for many districts, it is important that the public is mindful of the increase in children getting to and from school,” OTS Acting Director Randy Weissman said. “Children should never feel in danger when traveling to school, and it is up to everyone, whether they are driving, walking or biking, to be safe in school zones.”
With summer vacations wrapping up, the OTS offers tips to parents and the public to make sure children are safe this school year:
• Always be on the lookout for children when traveling around schools, especially during pick-up and drop-off times.
• Avoid distractions while driving like texting, talking on the phone, eating or grooming.
• Preplan your child’s route to school.
• If your child takes the bus, remind them to line up away from the curb and look both ways when getting on or off.
• Know what to do around buses. Flashing yellow lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop and flashing red lights means stop. California law requires drivers in both directions to stop until the red lights are no longer flashing.
• Test your child on traffic signals and signs. Make sure they always wear their helmet, don’t wear earbuds, and look both ways before crossing the street.
• Don’t rely on listening for cars as many are quiet and hard to hear. Always watch for cars coming in and out of parking spaces.
“No matter how children get to school, it is important to pay attention and look out for one another,” Weissman said. “We all have places to go, and for many of us, that involves picking up and dropping off kids.”
The OTS encourages everyone to make getting from point A to point B safely their top priority. To learn more about safe ways to go, visit gosafelyca.org.
The OTS administers funding for traffic safety programs statewide with the goal of reducing crashes that result in deaths, injuries, and economic losses. The OTS is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).