What do you believe a child is thinking when they are headed back to school? It’s safe to assume they’re excited about seeing their friends, meeting new teachers, and talking about their summer. One of the last things on their minds is traffic safety. So, that should be the first thing on the minds of San Antonio drivers.
There are plenty of distractions keeping students preoccupied on their way to school: an individual may have on headphones or may be talking with peers, unaware of cars backing out of driveways. Some children may have food on their mind, wanting to get the school breakfast before it’s too late. It is not just the younger ones that matter. It is important that we keep an eye out for all commuters who walk, bike, or bus to school, college, or work. Let’s give everyone a chance to reach their destinations safely – especially in school zones.
Drivers need to remember:
- Put your phone away. Using a handheld device while driving in an active school zone is against the law.
- Stop for flashing red lights or a stop sign on a school bus. Violators can be fined up to $1,250 for a first offense. Do it more than once and your driver license can be suspended.
- The 10 feet around any bus is the most dangerous for riders; stop far enough back to allow space for them to safely enter and exit the bus.
- Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks by darting into busy areas.
The serious legal ramifications aside, hitting someone with a vehicle – especially a child – can leave a lasting impact on family, friends, a community, and, of course, YOU.
You’ve probably heard someone say, “They came out of nowhere!”
Think about that statement. Take a little extra time in this back-to-school season. Consider a child’s safety. Consider your safety. Consider your peace of mind.
Jessica Brunson is an avid cyclist who can be caught biking to and from work along downtown San Antonio’s bike lanes. Brunson champions all modes of transportation, and she uses her skills as a Senior Transportation Planner for the city’s Transportation & Capital Improvements (TCI).