Area children will be returning to school on Tuesday, Sept. 3 and the Grand Rapids Police Department reminds motorists and parents that it is everyone’s responsibility to be more vigilant on the road.
At arrival and dismissal times, drivers are often in a hurry and distracted which can lead to unsafe conditions for students walking, bicycling and using the school bus, says Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson. He asks that everyone use the following safety precautions:
Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits, both in school zones and in neighborhoods surrounding schools.
Avoid double parking or stopping on crosswalks to let children out of the car. Double parking will block visibility for other children and other motorists. Visibility is further reduced during precipitation, fog and low light conditions.
Prepare to stop for a school bus when overhead yellow lights are flashing. Stop for a school bus when its red overhead lights are flashing, regardless of the direction you are driving.
Watch for children walking or bicycling in areas near a school.
Watch for children playing and gathering near bus stops. Also be cautious of children arriving late for the bus, who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
Watch for children walking or biking while backing out of your driveway.
“Area law enforcement will be patrolling near schools during the opening days to remind people to drive safely,” adds Johnson.