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Extra care on roads needed near schools

Summer break is officially over, and if you didn’t know, the streets will be busy with kids enthusiastically making their way to and from school. As students are out eagerly buying new clothes and supplies to last them through the school year, you, as a parent and motorist on the road, should be aware of some back-to-school safety tips.

By talking to your children and taking a few extra cautions while driving we can keep our roads safe for our kids and help maintain their well-being throughout the year.

Starting this week, students will be up bright and early making their way to and from school. Transportation to school is most risky when sharing the road with pedestrians and students riding bikes. As a driver on the road you should be driving with the utmost caution, taking into consideration the school zones and pedestrians crossing the street in the crosswalks.

One of the beauties of Boulder City is the assumed safety of our roads and drivers. Parents of students all ages ranging from kindergarten to high school can be at peace with allowing their kids to walk the short distance to their respective schools. Bicycles, skateboards and scooters are also popular means of transportation for students to get to school and will be sharing the roads and sidewalks alike.

As a driver, take the extra precautions needed to avoid any accidents on the road. Be aware of school zones; on streets with school zones the speed limit will be a maximum of 15 mph.

You also should be aware of crossing guards at the intersections near the schools and on Nevada Way. As a driver you must adhere to the directions of the crossing guards, who will frequently stop traffic with their hand-held stop signs in an attempt to allow students to cross the intersections safely.

Here are some safety tips to share with your kids.

For students who are walking to school, use the sidewalk and crosswalks. Crossing guards will be available at the major intersections near the schools, and you should wait for their approval to cross.

Students riding bikes, skateboards, scooters or any other self-propelled means of transportation should first and foremost be wearing a helmet. Personal safety equipment can help protect your head from falls. Students should ride on the sidewalks, avoiding any people who are walking.

When at intersections, dismount your bike, scooter, or skateboard and walk across the crosswalk when given the approval from the crossing guard. Crossing guards carry stop signs and stop traffic at the intersections as needed to help get students safely across the streets.

When using the school buses remember to wait patiently on the side of the road. Students should be at a minimum of five steps away from the curb as to avoid being in the road. When riding on the bus sit calmly and avoid any horseplay or goofing around that may distract the driver.

When returning home from school in the afternoon students are likely to be more excited than they were going to school, so be extra cautious.

Talk to your kids about not taking rides with strangers. If you haven’t planned for someone to pick up your student from school and he or she is going to walk home, make sure your children know not to accept a ride without your permission. Stress the importance of not getting in a car with someone they don’t know.

The safest way to get your children home will be by arranging some form of transportation.

If you have any additional questions regarding back-to-school safety, I encourage you to visit www.sparky.org or feel free to call me at the firehouse at 702-293-9228. Have a great school year!

Brian Shea is a Boulder City paramedic/firefighter.

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