Local Viewpoint: Let’s keep kids safe as they return to school

Summer officially ends for students on Tuesday as they return to classrooms around the area. It also means motorists need to be more aware of students earlier in the morning and then again in the afternoon.

Motorists need to be sure to obey traffic laws, keep focused on the road and make sure to keep an eye out for students and buses. We urge you to put down the coffee and avoid other distractions while driving to minimize the risk of accident.

Students will be on foot and possibly bicycle. They might not always go to the crosswalk, and could dart out from between vehicles, thinking more about getting there instead of the traffic around them.

Be sure to follow the rules of the road when it comes to school buses. Motorists are required to stop for all buses when red lights are flashing. Don’t try to race pass the bus when you sense it is going to stop, rather take the extra minute or so and keep it safe. Kids can get excited to rush to the bus and might cross the road or street prematurely. Drivers aren’t supposed to resume driving after a bus stop until the lights have quit flashing and the stop sign has been drawn back on the side of the bus.

Parents, make sure to talk to your kids about safety so they know when and where to cross streets and how get to the bus stop and how to get on the bus. Don’t just assume they know or remember following the summer vacation.

It’s up to all of us to make this a safe and happy school year for all our students, so make sure to do your part.