As the school year starts, we at the Department of Public Safety wish all of our residents and school age children a wonderful and safe year. To that end, we have posted some basic back to school safety tips. Please take a look at them and adjust them according to your schedule and child. Public Safety will be out there, highly visible and enforcing traffic laws to ensure that our children have a safe passage to and from school. As a reminder, if you see something, say something. Community and Police working together will ensure that everyone is well protected. Have a great and productive school year.
Tips for riding the school bus:
- Always arrive at the bus stop early.
- Wait to board the bus until it has come to a complete stop, the door opens and the bus driver says it's OK.
- Always walk on the sidewalk when preparing to cross the street near a bus.
- Make eye contact with the driver to ensure she has seen you.
- Never walk behind the bus. — When walking beside the bus, walk at least three giant steps away.
- Make sure clothing and bookbags don't get caught in the hand rail or door.
- If you drop something very close to the bus, don't pick it up when the bus is stopped, wait until the bus has driven off.
Tips for walking to and from school:
- Develop a buddy system and always walk in groups of at least two or three.
- If possible, parents should walk their children.
- Students never take shortcuts or cut through alleys or across vacant lots.
- Students should try to avoid walking near abandoned houses, and never enter or play near abandoned houses.
- Students should report anyone suspicious to school personnel or the police.
- Parents and neighbors should turn on porch lights and other outdoor lights before dawn and at dusk.
- Students should be on time for school every day.
- Talk to neighbors and local businesses on your child's route to school and ask if it is OK for your child to stay there in case of an emergency.
- Be sure your children know their home phone number and address, your work and cell phone number and the number of another trusted adult.
- Put a card with emergency contact information in your child's backpack and/or shoe.
- If you work late, have your children call you as soon as they arrive home after school.
Tips for motorists:
- Remember that children are unpredictable in their actions.
- If there are no sidewalks, drive cautiously, be more alert to the possibility of children walking in the road.
- Be more aware of children playing near school bus stops.
- Slow down and prepare to stop whenever you see yellow school bus lights flashing.
- Never pass a school bus when there are flashing red lights, a sign that children are getting off the bus.
The National Safety Council offers additional information and some informative videos.
Their site can be reached here.