|Time for Drivers, Bicyclists and Pedestrians to Think Safety
LIBERTY, August 18, 2017 - Just when summer is really starting to heat up in Texas, it is almost time for children to go back to school. Soon motorists will be sharing the roads with school buses, pedestrians, bicycle riders, and lots of new teen drivers taking their first car to school. According to the National Safety Council, teen car crashes spike in September when they are driving to and from school. Drivers young and old need to be vigilant because child pedestrians can be very unpredictable. They’re easily distracted and can often run into traffic or out from behind parked cars. Looking out for children rather than expecting them to look out for us is our best defense as drivers.
Distracted driving is always dangerous, but it is especially dangerous in and around school zones. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, crashes in school zones are most commonly due to driver inattention, failure to control speed, and failure to yield the right-of-way at stop signs. As responsible drivers, we need to put down the phone and pay attention in school zones. In fact, it is illegal to use a cell phone in a school zone.
Whether your oldest is just starting kindergarten or taking that first trip to school in his or her own car, parents can play an important role in keeping their children safe. For young children, make sure they know the rules about school bus safety when it comes to boarding and getting off the bus. If you are transporting children to school, remember that children under 13 should always ride in the back seat in a car seat (including a booster) or seat belt depending on whether they fit properly in the seat belt. Teen drivers and their parents should be aware of the Texas Graduated Driver License Law and the restrictions it puts in place, including no cell phone use at all and no more than one passenger under 21 in the vehicle unless the passenger is related to the driver. And, most importantly, always stress buckling up on every trip – even on those short trips to and from school!
Alexis Cordova, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent in Liberty County, reminds drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to follow these safety tips from the Texas Department of Transportation to prevent needless tragedies.
Tips for Driving in School Zones
As a bicyclist, you should wear a helmet and obey all traffic laws, including the following:
Tips for Pedestrians
Motorists can make a big difference by remembering to drive with extra caution when driving in and around school zones. Your slower speed and extra attention may very well save a life!
Visit http://www.txdot.gov/driver/kids-teens/school.html more information on back to school driving safety.