School is back in session, and that means motorists must be extra vigilant when entering a school zone.
San Francisco County has the lowest score possible in terms of pedestrian safety in school zones. Here are four reminders to help keep children safe.
1. Use care in congested areas
The return to school means considerable congestion, especially in the morning and mid-afternoon as children arrive or leave school. Slow down when driving through a school zone, even on weekends or whenever school is not in session. Children may still be on the grounds and walking or running close to the road.
2. Load and unload safely
Do not stop or park your vehicle across the street from the school when dropping children off or picking them up. There are always many vehicles in the vicinity during drop-off and pick-up hours, and you might consider carpooling with other parents to reduce the number of vehicles jockeying for position at such times.
3. Do not block
When you must stop for a red light, or when preparing to make a turn, do not block the crosswalk. This would force pedestrians to walk around you and possibly into oncoming traffic. Never double-park, because you could block the sight of someone walking nearby.
4. Stop for the school bus
Always stop for the school bus when you see the yellow lights flashing. Never pass the bus from behind, and never pass other vehicles in the queue. According to data from the National Safety Council, most children between the ages of four and seven who become school zone fatalities die because they are either hit by the bus or by a car passing a bus illegally.
Keeping children safe
One reason for the high number of incidents of vehicle-pedestrian accidents in Bay Area school zones is that many schools exist close to busy roads. Remember that children do not always pay attention to what is going on around them when walking. If your young son or daughter is the victim of a school zone collision, do not hesitate to explore your legal options to ensure the protection of your child’s rights.