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Back to school traffic safety tips offered

Updated December 23, 2009

With another school year about to begin, the Cerritos Sheriffís Station/Community Safety Center would like to offer the following tips to help make our school zones safer and improve traffic safety.

With school in session, there will be significantly more traffic. Pedestrians, bicyclists, buses and parents all contribute to school zone congestion. Most schools in Cerritos and other Southern California cities are faced with traffic issues such as double parking, speeding, unsafe U-turns, jaywalking and more.

In addition, children do not always follow the rules of the road. Oftentimes they enter the street from between two cars, attempt to get their bikes through an intersection before the light turns red, and skateboard into traffic.

Motorists should exercise a heightened awareness in and around a school zone. Potential hazards are much easier to perceive when driving at or below the school zone speed limit of 25 mph. Special attention must also be paid to buses displaying flashing red lights when on an undivided two-lane roadway. In these instances, motorists are required by the California Vehicle Code to stop and wait until the flashing red lights are turned off before passing a bus.

Parents who allow their children to ride bicycles to school should keep in mind that a helmet is required for those under the age of 18. In addition, children riding bicycles must travel with the flow of traffic. When considering whether to allow your child to ride a bike to school, also think about the effect that a bulky backpack may have on your childís balance while he or she is riding a bike.

Follow these simple suggestions to help make school zones safer for everyone:

  • Donít speed.
  • Donít impede traffic by dropping children off in the middle of the street.
  • Donít double park.
  • Donít block intersections or driveways if you park your vehicle.
  • Donít make U-turns.
  • Always make sure that your children are wearing seatbelts when transporting them to and from school.

In addition, make sure that your child has adequate supervision if he or she arrives home before you do. While this may be difficult for some, any form of organized activity, or the immediate availability of a trusted adult, can provide the necessary guidance to help ensure your childís safety and also give you peace of mind.

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