School is back in session and the Marana Police Department and Marana Unified School District are working together to ensure that children have a safe and enjoyable year.
There are precautions that are unique to students of all ages. Whether their children are riding the bus, walking, biking or driving, parents should emphasize these tips when discussing safety with their kids.
Students who ride the bus to school should:
• Stand at least 6 feet away from the curb.
• Make sure the driver can see them at all times before boarding or after departing.
• Never walk behind the bus.
• Never try to retrieve something from under the bus or near its wheels.
Students who walk to school should:
• Be aware of their surroundings and always go with a friend or relative. Parents should practice walking to school with their children.
• Stay on the sidewalk when one is available. If they must walk on the street, they should do so facing traffic.
• Stop and look all ways to see if traffic is coming before crossing the street.
• Never run out in front of a parked car. Other vehicles won’t be able to see them.
Students who bike to school should:
• Always wear helmets.
• Ride on the right side of the road in single file.
• Come to a complete stop before crossing the street.
• Wear bright colors and avoid riding alone at night.
Students who drive to school should:
• Always wear safety belts.
• Leave home for school with enough time to deal with traffic congestion and unexpected delays. A good rule of thumb is if the driving time is 15 minutes, double that and leave 30 minutes before they need to be there.
• Slow down. Speeding is the leading cause of accidents among student drivers.
• Minimize distractions. Turn off the radio. Put the cell phone down. Pull over if you have to eat or apply makeup. Don’t hesitate to silence rowdy passengers or to pause a conversation in order to focus on driving.
The police department is doing its part by deploying officers near schools to enforce traffic laws and remind motorists of the dangers of speeding and not wearing safety belts.
Parents can help by instructing children on traffic safety, stranger danger and other issues. Children are our most precious resource and no amount of planning and forethought is too much when it comes to their safety.