Parents and children are preparing for the challenges of starting a new school year during very uncertain conditions. To keep them safe, many parents will be talking to their kids about wearing masks, social distancing, and frequent handwashing. Yet, how many of those parents, while running late to get kids to school, will speed through school zones? How many of those parents, frustrated by parking problems, will have their children run across a busy street to a waiting vehicle? How many parents, while distracted by cell phones and other devices, will disregard the directions of a crossing guard? According to a 10-year study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 77% of the children killed in school-transportation-related crashes were not on a bus; they were walking, waiting for a bus, biking, or in another vehicle.
In Davis County, there will be kids walking to and from school every day except Friday. On every one of those days, crossing guards and police officers from Syracuse Police Department will be out there trying to keep them safe; however, our resources can only go so far – we need help and compliance from the public to accomplish this mission.
Here are few important reminders:
- Yellow flashing lights on a school bus do not mean speed up, and red flashing lights definitely mean stop.
- School administrators spend a lot of time and effort designing pick up/drop-off plans to maximize safety of the children. The plans only work if they are followed.
- Once a crossing guard raises their stop sign and steps off the curb, no vehicles are allowed to pass through the crosswalk in any direction, including making right hand turns, until the crossing guard has cleared and lowered their sign.
- Children are often distracted as they walk to or from school. They text friends, they take selfies, they play games, and they often listen to music using some variety of earphones. When they are not focused, they are not aware of their surroundings, including vehicles. In addition, kids tend to cross streets at any point they deem convenient, rather than only in marked or monitored crossings. During school commute times, please slow down and do not drive distracted.
- Properly used seatbelts and car seats save lives!
Our school resource officers and crossing guards are looking forward to getting back to the jobs they love and are hoping for a happy, safe, and healthy school year for all children.