Driving Refresher Course

Fall brings cooler weather, shorter days and over 200,000 Kern County students walking, biking and skating to school. Applying extra caution in school zones not only is vital for the safety of students, but also will help avoid potentially costly accidents to autos and pedestrians.

Above all, keep alert and slow down when in a school zone. In addition, be aware of the following tips and suggestions:

Driving in School Zones

  • When Dropping Off –– Become familiar with and follow your school’s drop-off procedures. Your principal will love you!
  • Never double-park.
  • Carpool when possible to reduce the number of vehicles.
  • Encourage children to use crosswalks at all times so they do not cross the street illegally and in front of oncoming vehicles.

Sharing the Road With School Busses

  • Allow more space behind school busses than you would typically allow. Busses make frequent stops and this also allows you to stop quickly should the buss put on their flashing yellow or red lights.
  • In 50 states it is illegal to pass a school bus that has stopped to load or unload children and has flashing lights on while doing so.
  • The area that is most dangerous for children is within ten (10) feet of the school bus. Always stop at least ten feet away to ensure a clear vision of students close to the bus.
  • Be alert – children are excited to enter and exit the buss and it’s up to adults to ensure that students are safe when being picked up and dropped off.

Sharing the Road With Bicyclists

  • On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles.
  • The most common cause of accidents between vehicles and bicyclists is vehicles turning left in front of a bicyclist.
  • Always proceed the same direction as the regular flow of traffic. Vehicles should keep at least three (3) feet from bicycles at all times to ensure safety.
  • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass.
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this.
  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
  • Check side mirrors before opening your car door

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods

    • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
    • Students should be taught to use all crosswalks and to remove headphones prior to walking so that they may be aware of the hazards around them.
    • It is always best to use sidewalks and paths. If these are not available, pedestrians should always walk facing traffic and as far to the left as possible.
    • Children under 10 years of age should always cross the street with the help of an adult or crossing guard.
    • Adults should serve as good role models by obeying all rules at all times.

The reality is that staying alert, slowing down and driving defensively will help prevent costly accidents. Contact my office if you have been the victim of a distracted or dangerous driver.

Remember that schools provide a safe, nurturing place to go to school. As a community, it’s up to all of us to look out for our students and ensure that we are doing everything possible to create a safe environment where students can thrive.

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CategoryBlog, Car Safety


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