6 tips for commuters now that children are back in school

Most students across Orange County have returned to school for the new year. This means drivers will start seeing more school buses navigating through neighborhoods, and more kids walking to school or to catch their bus.

Kids arriving for schoolWe thought it would be a good time to offer some tips for drivers to help keep students safe while they’re boarding and exiting busses, and when they’re on foot in around schools.

These tips come from the National Highway Safety Administration to make school bus transportation safer for everyone:

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  • Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
  • Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws, as well as the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:

Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.

Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.