ALABAMA (WRBL) – Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) released information in a press release reminding citizens to be cautious and share safety tips with children and loved ones as students return to classrooms.
ALEA’s Secretary Hal Taylor expresses the importance of two key principles to keep drivers, riders and pedestrians safe.
“The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for many; however, we encourage all motorists to be mindful and aware of school buses and overall safety concerns in school zones. After a summer of driving without school bus drop-offs and pick-ups, or groups of children walking to and from school, motorists often forget the challenges that may arise while driving in or near school zones. Preparation and patience are two key principles that, when implemented correctly, help to ensure a safe and successful year for everyone when traveling to and from your destinations.”
ALEA also encourages parents to have a conversation with their children on safety before their first day of school.
They also stress the importance for parents to speak with their 16-year-olds who have recently gotten their license and plan on driving themselves to school.
To help guide those conversations, parents can refer to the Alabama’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) law to fully understand rules of the road.
ALEA encourages new drivers refer to these tips and tricks to keep roadways safe;
- Make trial runs on regular routes to school and back before the first day of school to help familiarize the trip, possible come up with an alternate route to drive as well.
- Plan for heavy traffic during the first week of school at least, allow extra travel time.
- Follow speed limits and other rules of the road.
- Do not drive distracted by cellular device, radio, passengers or other things that could steer drivers eyes from the road.
- All occupants in the vehicle should wear a seatbelt.
- Remember 16-year-olds are not allowed to have more than one non-family member in the vehicle while in operation.
In addition, ALEA reminds all drivers to follow these tips;
- Slow down and be alert, especially in and around school zones.
- If a driver finds themselves in a school zone with blinking flashers, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing crosswalks or at intersections.
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
- Students should only cross streets and roads at crosswalks or other designated intersections after making sure all vehicles are stopped.
- Stay alert for children on bicycles and leave three feet between your vehicle and the cyclist upon passing.
- Watch for bikes coming down driveways or behind vehicles parked on streets.
- Do not load or unload children across the street from school unless otherwise instructed to do so.
- Be aware of school bus stops and prepare to stop quickly.
- Consider working with other parents to designate an adult to supervise children at the bust stop every morning.