Soon local children will begin walking, bicycling, and taking the bus to school as classes begin this week. To keep the students safe, the Sierra Vista Police Department will be patrolling around local schools and strictly enforcing the laws regarding school zones and bus stops.
School zones are clearly marked with signs indicating the 15 mph school zone is in effect and that no passing is allowed. Aside from observing the reduced speed limit and never passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction in a school zone, drivers must also stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and wait until all pedestrians are completely clear of the crosswalk before proceeding.
Motorists must also keep an eye out for school buses traveling on either side of the road. When a school bus stops with the “Stop” sign out and red flashing lights displayed, motorists on both sides of the road must stop until the bus resumes motion or its signs and lights are no longer displayed.
“By paying close attention and heeding laws in school zones, drivers can help ensure Sierra Vista students start the school year safely,” Sierra Vista Police Department Public Information Officer Cpl. Scott Borgstadt says. “It’s also an important time for parents to remind their children how to stay safe while heading to and from school.”
Back to school safety tips
The following tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can help parents prepare their children to stay safe when traveling to and from school.
When riding the school bus, teach your child to play it SAFE:
- Stay five steps away from the curb.
- Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.
- Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.
- Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.
When walking to school, children under 10 should always be accompanied by someone who will ensure they walk safely. Remember to teach your child to always:
- Use the sidewalk whenever possible, and if one is not available, walk on the edge of the street facing traffic.
- Focus when walking near traffic — this is no time for horseplay.
- Use crosswalks whenever they are available to cross the street.
- Look left-or-right before crossing the street.
When bicycling to school, be sure to:
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet and securely fasten the chin strap. If you don’t have a helmet, Sierra Vista Fire & Medical Services has helmets available at no charge. Just stop by any Sierra Vista fire station or call (520) 417-4400 to learn more.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic and follow traffic signs and signals.
- Never use electronics while riding — they are distracting.