Safety tips to remember as children go back to school

The sights and sounds of “back to school” time are everywhere. Soon, students will be spotted with their crisp new clothes and clean backpacks hesitantly walking toward the yellow school bus, while others balance their new lunch box as they ride their bikes with friends.

This is a time for all drivers, parents or not, to be proactive to keep kids safe as they head back to school. Parents should also take the time to talk to their children about safety.

Here are some tips from Safe Kids USA, the Department of Transportation and American Academy of Pediatrics.

For all drivers

When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.

When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.

Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus or school may dart into the street without looking for traffic.

Learn the “flashing light signal system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions. Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles. Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red light stops flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

Yellow crosswalk lines may be painted at school crossings. If a pedestrian is at any point in the yellow crosswalk, drivers may not pass through the crosswalk, even when it appears to be safe.

For students who take the bus

Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.

Do not move around on the bus.

Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street.

Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.

Always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.

For bicycle riders

Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.

Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.

Use appropriate hand signals.

Respect traffic lights and stop signs.

Know the rules of the road. You can find them at www.aap.org/family/bicycle.htm

For parents whose kids walk to school

Make sure your child’s walk to school is a safe route with well-trained, adult crossing guards at every intersection.

Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.

In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.

New to Naval Base Ventura County? If you live at Port Hueneme and your student attends Richard Bard, Hueneme Elementary or Hueneme Christian, there is a pedestrian gate at Goodspeed that allows easy access to Pleasant Valley Road. It is open during school commute hours. This allows students to avoid walking along busy Ventura Road.

— For any K-12 education-related questions, please contact the NBVC school liaison officer at 805-989-5211 or email monica.james@navy.mil.

© 2012 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Commanding Officer

CAPT. LARRY VASQUEZ

Chief Staff Officer

CAPT. SCOTT LOESCHKE

Lighthouse Editor

ANDREA HOWRY, 805-989-5281

Public Affairs Officer

KIMBERLY GEARHART
Ventura County Star - 805-437-0000

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MARGIE COCHRANE, Ventura County Star

Niche Publications

JOHN GARCIA, 805-437-0365

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NSWC Port Hueneme and representatives from eight allied, international navies joined forces on April 7 to establish a unified strategic plan for modernizing and sustaining the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) on a global scale, yielding enhanced worldwide fleet readiness and collective maritime strength against ever-evolving threats.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
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