With the start of the new school year, police are reminding drivers to use extra caution around school zones, and anywhere else students may be getting on and off the bus.
You never know when a child is going to dart out from between cars and into the path of your car. That’s just one situation where children can unintentionally put themselves in danger. It’s something everyone has to be thinking about while driving around school buses.
“They’re excited. They want to go to school. They tend to run, do whatever they can do to get there.”
It’s important to remember too that many of these little ones don’t yet know the rules of the road. Anything that involves children and traffic is inherently dangerous. Anything can happen.
“You gotta watch out for those kids because they’re not always watching out for you,” Brian Blenner with RCPD’s Juvenile Operations said.
One of the most dangerous situations for children is getting off a stopped bus and crossing the street.
“It’s a good time to remind people; if that bus is stopped, if those red lights are flashing, you have to stop,” Blenner said.
Police say parents also have an important role to play.
“As a parent, sit down with your kids, especially if they’re walking to or from school, getting on and off that bus. Talk to them. Hey what’s your plan. How are you going to do it. If your going to cross the street, are you going to push that button to make sure that light turns. Are you going to look both ways, and then look again,” Blenner said.
And the most important advice for drivers is to think about what you’re doing, and expect the unexpected.
“You really gotta be paying attention every which way, because you don’t know what’s going to happen or when,” Blenner said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2015, one in every five children under the age of 15 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.