Return to Headlines

Important tips for motorists and parents to help keep students safe

 

Important tips for motorists and parents to help keep students safe



The school district cares about the safety and wellbeing of all students and we need everyone, especially motorists, to help keep our students safe as they walk to school or wait at their bus stops. In recent accidents across the country, motorists have killed and injured several students at school bus stops and near roadways.

 

With our dwindling daylight, students are walking on the side of the road or waiting for the bus in the dark. It is also getting dark when students leave school in the afternoon. Students are depending on all of us to exercise increased vigilance in winter driving conditions.

 

We recommend the following tips to ensure everyone gets to and from school safely:

 

Tips for motorists:

 

  • Do not drive distracted or impaired. Students are counting on you to be alert and cautious while driving. The phone call or text message can wait.

 

  • Fully clean snow and ice off of your windshield and all windows for maximum field of vision. Don’t increase your blind spots by driving with only a “porthole” cleared on your windshield.

 

  • Leave earlier to avoid being in a rush. Expect slower traffic in snowy conditions. Leave yourself enough time to react or stop as soon as someone or something on the side of the road becomes visible in your headlights.

 

  • Yield to pedestrians. Remember to check for students or other pedestrians in the crosswalk before turning at an intersection.

 

  • Travel cautiously through residential areas. Pass walking students slowly and give them plenty of room. As snow piles up, students are harder to spot. Students can be hidden by snow berms or may walk in the road if sidewalks are piled with snow. Be patient.

 

  • Do not pass a school bus with flashing red lights. It is illegal, and more importantly, there could be a student crossing the road. Flashing amber lights indicate that a bus is about to make a stop.

 

  • State law requires drivers to stop at least 30 feet from a bus with flashing red lights. Traffic following the bus and oncoming traffic must stop, regardless of the number of lanes. Traffic on separate roadways, such as a divided highway, are not required to stop. Drivers may not proceed until the flashing lights are no longer illuminated. (Alaska Statute 28.35.145)

 

 

Tips for parents and students:

 

  • Make yourself as visible as possible. Wear bright colors and reflective clothing. Carry a flashlight or headlamp.

 

  • When crossing a street, make eye contact with the driver and wait for the signal to cross.

 

  • Dress for cold weather conditions. Even if you wait in a vehicle at the bus stop, you still need warm clothing. In the event of an emergency and the bus must be evacuated, you must be prepared to stand outside for up to thirty minutes.

 

  • Do not play or run at bus stops. Watch for traffic and be prepared to get out of the way of an out-of-control vehicle.

 

  • Do not climb or play on snow berms.

 

  • Walk to bus stops or to school in groups. Larger groups are more visible and safer.

 

  • Never walk behind a bus or between two buses in the school loading zone.

 

Sharice Walker
sharice.walker@k12northstar.org
907-452-2000