Be Safe As You Go to School

Four Corners Health Department hopes everyone’s school year is getting off to a good start. We want remind everyone to think about safety as you go to work or school. Be sure to teach your children how to get to and from school safely whether they are walking, riding bikes, or travelling in a car. These tips are designed to protect children in and around vehicles, whether they are riding with parents, other kids’ parents, peer drivers, or in carpools.

When Walking

  • Cross the street at the corners or where there are cross walks or stop lights.
  • Walk on the sidewalk where you can. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic so you can be seen easily.
  • Look both ways more than once before crossing the street.
  • Never run into the street or between parked cars.

When Riding School Buses

  • Arrive early to the bus stop (at least five minutes before the bus arrives).
  • Stand three giant steps (about 6 feet) or more away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus has stopped and the driver says it’s okay before you get on the bus.
  • Use hand rails to keep from falling. When getting on or off the bus, be careful that your clothes, strings, and book bag straps don’t get caught in the hand rails or doors.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver before picking it up.
  • Walk at least three giant steps away from the bus before stopping.
  • Always stay where the bus driver can see you.
  • Cross the street at the corner and stay in the crosswalk. If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, make sure you are three giant steps in front of it so the driver can see you.

When Riding a Bike

When Riding in a Car

  • ALWAYS wear a seat belt – every trip, every time, and every seating position!
  • Children under 8 must ride in the back seat according to state law (effective January 1, 2019). The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) recommends a child not ride in the front seat until they are at least 13 years of age.
  • Younger children should ride in child safety seats or booster seats that are right for the child’s age and size every time they are a passenger. Effective January 1, 2019, all children up to age 8 must ride correctly secured in a federally-approved child safety seat. https://www.safekids.org/sites/default/files/documents/skw-gm_basic_car_seat_safety_-_english.pdf
  • Teenagers driving to school must buckle up as well as everyone riding in the car with them. They should not use their cell phone to text or make calls while driving. Avoid eating or drinking while driving.

 

When Driving

  • Buckle up! 
  • Avoid using a cell phone to text or make calls while driving.
  • Don’t eat or drink while you are driving.
  • Do not block the crosswalk when you are stopped.
  • Watch for people walking or biking when leaving your driveway or garage.
  • Watch for children in school zones and near playgrounds and parks.
  • Slow down!  Be more careful in places where there are no sidewalks.
  • Do not drink alcohol if you plan to be driving.
  • Yellow flashing lights on a school bus tell you they are getting ready to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign tell you that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions MUST stop and wait until the lights turn off, the stop sign is back in place, and the bus is moving before driving.
  • Bicyclists follow the same rules as vehicles, but bikes are harder to see. Watch for bikes leaving driveways or behind parked cars.
  • Be a good role model for children and young drivers. Buckle up every trip, do not use a cell phone while driving, and obey traffic laws.
  • If you are driving, use defensive driving techniques and have patience for other drivers so everyone can be safe.

These traffic tips were collected from the Nebraska Highway Traffic Safety Administration-NHTSA and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. For more information on school bus safety, contact Four Corners Health Department at 877-337-3573 or email your questions to: info@fourcorners.ne.gov.