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Motorists should practice back-to-school safety

Summer break is officially over, and if you didn’t know, the streets will be busy with children enthusiastically making their way to school. As students are out buying new school clothes and supplies to last them through the school year, you as a parent and motorist should be aware of some back-to-school safety tips. By talking to your children, and taking a few extra precautions while driving we can keep our roads safe for our children and help maintain their well-being throughout the year.

Starting Monday, students will be up bright and early making their way to school. Transportation to school is most risky when sharing the road with pedestrians and students riding bikes. As a driver you should be using the upmost 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 schools. Bicycles, skateboards and scooters are popular means of transportation for students to get to school and will be sharing the roads and side walks alike.

As a driver, take the extra precautions needed to avoid any accidents . Be aware of school zones. On any street posted with school zones, the speed limit will be 15 mph at a maximum.

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

Some safety tips to share with your kids regarding getting to and from school safely. 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 getting to school should first and foremost be wearing a helmet. Personal safety equipment can help aid in protecting your head from falls. Students should ride on the sidewalks, avoiding anyone walking.

When at intersections, dismount your bike, scooter or skateboard and walk across the crosswalk when given the approval of 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 school buses, remember to wait patiently on the side of the road. Students should be at a minimum five steps away from the curb as to avoid being in the road. When riding on the bus, sit calmly and avoid any horse play or goofing around that may distract the bus driver.

When returning home from school , the same safety tips also should be used. Students are likely to be more excited coming home from school than they are 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 they are going to walk home, make sure they 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 go to www.sparky.org or feel free to call me at the firehouse at 293-9228. Have a great school year!

Brian Shea is a Boulder city paramedic/firefighter. If you have further questions about this or any fire safety issue, contact the Boulder City Fire Department at 293-9228.

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