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19Oct2017

General School Zone Traffic Rules

 

Do you intend to provide a better world for the coming generation? A safe and secure world in which accident rates for kids are low. Initiate a conscious effort to follow the traffic rules. Nevertheless, kids often learn from adults and your actions can have a ripple effect in turning them to the traffic rules compliant generation. School zones are at higher risk of accidents and therefore have special regulations. 

Not only schools and crossings, but also places where kids hang out are established to be potentially danger zones. Consequently, road safety for children can therefore be assured only with the strict implementation of the traffic rules.

General rules for drivers

1. Slow down your vehicle near school zones. Adhere to the speed limits prescribed. Generally, speed should not exceed 20mph near such risk zones

2. Have greater vigil while driving through areas without sidewalks. Absence of proper sidewalks can lead to obstructed view of pedestrians on the sides. Moreover, kids are vulnerable to such accidents due to their short stature

3. When you take reverse, pay attention to those on the backside. Have an assistant or seek assistance from others in such situations

4. While at stops, ensure that parking lights are on, when you are preparing to side track the vehicle for children to board or alight

5. Switch on the red flashing lights when the bus is at least near 20m from the intended stopping and continue till the bus starts to move again. The extended stop arm should be on display to alert the other vehicles

6. When stopping at the crossing near schools, allow a distance of approximately 10-30 feet between the vehicle and the crossing

7. Safety seats in the bus should be maintained properly and utilized when needed

8. Seat belts to be worn by when so guided

9. School zones are always risky even after school hours, since a lot of kids would be spending time on extracurricular activities such as sports. Hence, it is better to enforce the rules  past the school time till the kids are most likely retired to their homes

10. Apart from school zones, be on guard near parks, stadiums, etc. also where children would be gathered to play to ensure road safety for children

General precautionary steps for parents near school zones

1. Ensure that the child knows the traffic safety rules and regulations

2. Find and ask the child to resort to the safest route to the school

3. Helmets and safety gear should be provided, if kids are riding bicycles to reach school

4. Periodically check the kids' bicycle to find the defects or maintenance needs

5. Attend to the repairs immediately

General rules for safety for kids

1. When boarding or alighting the bus, be sure that your bag straps or strings do not get tangled on to the hand rail

2. If by mistake, something fell off the bus, ask the bus driver or alert the assistant. Never jump off the bus to pick the item up

3. Stay away from the bus and form a queue. Board the bus when signalled by the driver. Enforce strict discipline while boarding/alighting the bus

4. Teach children safe walking to and from the bus stops. Also, teach them to be vigilant while crossing the road after alighting from the bus

Other rules to enforce road safety for children

1. Safety signs and symbols to be properly installed. They should be adequately sized and clear enough for the children and driver to observe

2. The colour codes should be strictly followed as to adhere to the legal requirements as well as ensure safety. For example, fluorescent yellow-green colour is utilized as background for all warning signs in the United States. Usually critical signs are so colour coded so as to increase the visibility even in low lights

3. End of the school zone speed limit should also be considered so that drivers would not resort to speeding up the vehicle just after passing by the school

4. If a school bus has stopped on the side of the road, traffic proceeding in the same direction should stop. If the road has fewer than four lanes, ideally traffic on either side should halt

As a matter of fact, creating the awareness, especially among younger kids on traffic rules along with curriculum is perhaps one of the important steps.

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