Spotlight on Community

School is officially back in session in Cavalier County and with school comes the need to once again be aware of children coming and going from their destination.

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Posted on 8/27/16

By Melissa Anderson

More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:

• Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles.

According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe.

• Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic.

• Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.

• Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.

• Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

• Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children

• If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.

The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.

Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way. By following these simple tips, let’s have a safe school year.

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