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Posted on: August 8, 2019

Driving? Watch for Flashing School Zone Lights

Back to school bus and kids

Bells will soon be heralding (Monday, August 12) the glad, glad news that the new school year is underway. Police departments everywhere are reminding motorists to be aware of school zone active hours. Plano Police Public Information Officer David Tilley reminds us “to definitely expect more traffic than usual around schools so be on high alert for kids walking and riding.”

The National Safety Council suggests these safety tips:

If Dropping Off

Schools have specific drop-off procedures; make sure you know them.

  • Don't double park; it blocks visibility
  • Don't load or unload across the street from the school
  • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

  • Don't block the crosswalk at a red light; it forces them to walk around the car
  • Stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection in school zones
  • Stop for a crossing guard holding up a stop sign
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians

Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you're driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus stopped to load or unload children.

  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Be alert; children are often unpredictable and sometimes ignore hazards

Parents of children who will be biking to school should observe some safety tips as well. Tilley continues, “We have been so fortunate in past years to keep accidents related to this down. Education and awareness play a crucial part in continuing this. PLEASE remember to slow down, plan ahead for delays and drive safe.”

Tilley’s School Zone video:

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