September 5, 2013 | 2955 views
School safety 101: Slow down
Most area schools reopened this week, which means the roads are going to be more hectic on weekday mornings and afternoons.
Every day there will be tens of thousands of children heading to and from school. They will be on foot, riding bikes, or passengers in cars and school buses. Areas around schools will become particularly congested during drop-off and pickup times.
Drivers must remember that there are increased risks on the roads at these peak times. The beginning of the school year is a good time to brush up on some of the laws whose purpose is to keep children safe.
We remind drivers to obey school zone speed limits, which are usually 10 to 15 mph below the normal speed limit for a road, and are typically in effect from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on school days. These speed limits can feel onerous, but they’re in place to protect children, our most inexperienced pedestrians.
Our communities have neighborhood elementary schools, which means many students don’t rely on schools buses, but instead on their own two feet. With a lot of children walking to and from school, drivers must be especially cognizant of school zone speed limits.
Even though students are less reliant on school buses on Nassau County’s South Shore than in more rural areas, there are still plenty of big yellow buses out on the roads when school is in session. They are one of the safest forms of transportation for students, and transporting dozens of children at once helps reduce congestion on the roads and in school parking lots. Drivers must remember that there are rules when school buses are on the road.
When a bus is stopped to pick up or discharge children, all other vehicles on the road must stop, even those heading in the opposite direction. This law applies whenever a bus has its flashing red lights on and its stop signs deployed. According to Nassau County police, the most dangerous part of a school bus ride is getting on and off the bus.