doors swing open;
Bicycles that have served as source of recreation for youngsters this summer return to a more utilitarian purpose this time of year providing transportation to and from school for children throughout Idaho.
Those who dont peddle two-wheelers to school usually walk, board buses or catch rides in private vehicles.
Regardless of the mode of travel, the annual pilgrimage back to school evokes warnings of extra caution. Motorists need to be especially wary of preoccupied children enroute to school or home, and school-age children need to be aware of the traffic flowing alongside home-to-school routes.
The Idaho Transportation Department joins the Idaho Department of Education, school districts and parent organizations throughout the state in urging motorists to watch for children crossing streets and roads, and reminds drivers to observe traffic laws related to school buses.
Until about age 10, most kids havent developed
the skills to safely cope with traffic, said Josephine OConnor
of ITDs Office of Traffic and Highway Safety. They typically
act on impulse, they cant judge car speed very well, and they
assume that if they see you in a car, you can see them.
Motorists must stop when approaching a school bus that is displaying flashing signals while stopped to pick up or drop off children. Vehicles must remain stopped until all children are clear of the roadway and the bus moves again.
On a two-lane road, both following and oncoming traffic must stop and remain stopped as long as the red lights are flashing and/or the stop arm on the left side of the bus is extended. On a highway with two or more lanes of traffic traveling in each direction, oncoming traffic is not required to stop when meeting a school bus. However, motorists still are urged to watch for children crossing traffic lanes while on their way to or from the bus.
Drivers also should use caution when traveling through
school zones or near routes used by children and should observe school
speed limits and the instructions of crossing guards.
children who ride school buses
School bus transportation is one of the safest forms of
transportation in the United States, according to the U.S. Department
of Transportations National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Every year, the nations 450,000 public school buses travel more
than 4.3 billion miles to transport 23.5 million children to and from
school and school-related activities. Students are nearly eight times
safer riding in a school bus than in cars. The fatality rate for school
buses is 0.2 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT),
compared to 1.5 per 100 million VMT for cars.
children who walk or bicycle to school
Safety tips to share with your kids
For more safety tips, visit: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/outreach/KidsPage/bussafety/index.html