• By Ashleigh Sloop
  • Posted Friday, August 10, 2012

School Safety

Parents can teach their children the following safety tips which will inform children of the danger signs to watch for and avoid when walking between school and home. Drivers should be cautious of children walking back and forth to school, and we can all learn from the safety tips below to make Forsyth County safer for all. By taking the time to carefully prepare your child on how to handle these situations, you can ensure your child’s safety.

  • While walking, remember to always travel with a friend. Two heads are better than one, especially if there’s an emergency.
  • A stranger is anyone you or your parents don’t know well.
  • You or your friend must never take candy, money, medicine or anything else from a stranger.
  • If a stranger in a car asks you questions, don’t get close to the car (you could get pulled in) – and never get in the car.
  • Strangers can be very tricky – they can ask you to walk with them to “show” them something; they can offer to pay for your video game, or ask you to help them find a lost dog or cat. Don’t be fooled!
  • Don’t tell anyone your name or address when you’re walking and don’t think that because someone knows your name that they know you – they may just be looking at your name printed on your lunch box, school bag or T-shirt.
  • If you think you’re in any danger, yell, and run to the nearest store or “safe house” or back to school.
  • Always tell your parents or teacher if a stranger has approached you.

School Bus Safety

Every day millions of students use school buses as transportation to and from school. Although school buses represent the safest form of highway transportation, there are a number of safety factors of which both student and drivers should be aware. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 19 school-aged children die in school transportation-related traffic crashes each year and more school-aged pedestrians have been killed between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. than any other time of day.

Children are often eager to get off the school bus because they are excited to tell their parents about their day at school. It is crucial that parents reinforce school bus safety rules. Parents can also drive their child’s bus route with them to practice the proper safety precautions they can take to help ensure their child enjoys a safe ride to and from school.

  • Always arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes early.
  • While the bus is approaching, make sure to stand at least three steps away from the curb, wait until the bus has come to a complete stop, the door opens and the bus driver says that it’s OK to board.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk when preparing to cross the street near a bus. Make eye contact with the driver so that you are sure he or she sees you.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • If you are walking beside the bus, walk at least three steps away.
  • Use the handrail when entering and exiting the bus. Take extra precautions to make sure that clothing with drawstrings and book bags do not get caught in the hand rail or door.
  • Never stop to pick something up that you have dropped when a bus is stopped. Tell the bus driver or wait until the bus has driven off to avoid not being seen by the driver.
  • Children can be unpredictable in their actions. Take extreme caution when traveling in a school zone.
  • If there are no sidewalks in a school zone, drive cautiously. Be more alert to the possibility of children walking in the road.
  • Slow down and prepare to stop whenever you see yellow school bus lights flashing.
  • Never pass a school bus when there are flashing red lights and the stop arm is extended. This is a sign that children are getting on or off the bus. Motorist must wait until the red lights stop flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in North Carolina.

Bike Safety

As school resumes, children will again be riding their bicycles to and from school. All too often, children – like adults – become creatures of habit and overlook simple safety precautions. By following the safety tips below, practicing safety every day can prevent serious injury.

  • Only one person belongs on your bike. Never let a second person ride with you.
  • Allow plenty of room for a safe stop. Never follow bikes or cars too closely.
  • Keep both hands on the handle bars for safe steering.
  • Always give proper signals. Keep a firm grip on the handle bars with your right hand and use your left arm and hand to signal turns and stops. Arm straight out is a left turn; arm bent up at the elbow is a right turn; and arm bent down at the elbow is a stop.
  • Avoid riding your bike at night. If you must ride at night, equip your bike with a good headlight and rear reflectors. Wear light-colored or reflective clothing so others can see you easily.
  • Make sure you obey all traffic signs and signals. Stop completely at stop signs and always look both ways before starting out again.”
  • Drivers need to share the road. Always be vigilant while traveling and aware of other people on the road.

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