21 Aug 2014
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School's Open. Drive Carefully. More Than a Bumper Sticker.

With all the excitement of the first day of school, it's easy for children to become distracted and drivers aren't used sharing the roads with schools buses and swarms of children.

School's Open. Drive Carefully. More Than a Bumper Sticker. School's Open. Drive Carefully. More Than a Bumper Sticker.
"School's Open. Drive Carefully." We know it by heart and have heard it a million times. For many of us the memory may be associated with a time back when kids dared ride their bikes to school and outsized station wagons without even seat belts ferried kids to school among the ubiquitous yellow school buses. 

But the advice is more important than ever, considering that distracted driving is a common a problem. Factoring in cell phones, texting and more crowded roads and maybe the bumper sticker should say, "School's Open. Put the Phone down." 

In any event, NY State Police are urging parents to review some simple safety tips with their children before they head back to school.
 
“Very soon, thousands of children will be walking to and from school and school buses – many for the first time,” said NY State Police Captain Michael T. Eaton in a release.  “Everyone who drives has a responsibility to be especially careful during this busy time for youngsters.  Many young children are killed each year in collisions with motor vehicles, and thousands more are severely injured,” Captain Eaton added. 
 
Children tend to be at greater risk during the back-to-school period because they tend to be thinking more about seeing old friends and new teachers than watching for cars and trucks.  Others are going to school for the first time.
 
To help protect children, State Police have offered these six pedestrian-safety tips:
  • Look all ways before crossing the street.
  • Cross only at corners.
  • Obey police officers, school crossing guards, and traffic signals.
  • Watch for turning cars.
  • Be especially alert in bad weather.
  • Play away from traffic.
And, for drivers, one Patch mom's advice is to be wary driving through crosswalks and to watch for stopped school buses. Make sure to stop when the driver swings open the "Stop" sign attached to the bus. And, please, don't use the phone while you're driving. See you on the first day of school.

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