Words by: AAM
Driving near schools is not an act to be taken for granted especially when there have been numerous accident cases involving school children.
Staying safe depends on both drivers and school children, and an in depth understanding and appreciation road safety awareness.
At the end of the day, it would not matter if the child was not looking when he/she crossed the road, or if he/she should have taken the pedestrian bridge, or if the driver was speeding in a school zone. If an accident occurs, the child is killed, he/she is gone forever.
A greater concern for all would be how such unfortunate incidents can be completely avoided.
• Drive slowly. Never drive at high speeds when approaching schools.
• Stay alert especially when your view or field of vision is blocked by parked buses vehicles and obstructing objects
• Both drivers and school children must obey the instructions of the traffic warden at the school. In the absence of a traffic warden obey the rules when coming to a pedestrian crossing and traffic lights.
• Never jump/beat the traffic lights near a school. (ed: Here's an idea. How about not jumping the lights at all?)
• Be vigilant – some school children tend to cross the road without looking. Others may jaywalk although there is a pedestrian bridge nearby. If there is a pedestrian bridge, teach your child and insist that he/she cross safely using the bridge. (ed: We couldn't agree more!!)
• When passing a parked school bus be aware that children may be boarding or alighting from the vehicle. Some may also be crossing the road in front of the bus and hidden from your view.
• Give way to school buses
• Be careful of children waiting or gathering by the side of the road. As far as possible, you should advise your own children not to play by the side of the road as they may become distracted and stray onto the road.
• Be careful of children stopped in the middle of the road waiting to cross. When possible and safe to do so, stop, give way and allow them to cross safely.
• When sending your children to school, make sure they alight from the vehicle from the door that is closest to the pavement. Do not allow them to alight using the door next to incoming traffic as this is dangerous. (ed: Agree. Once again, simple common sense)
• Teach your children that they should always look right and left before crossing the road. Younger children should always be accompanied when crossing the road.
• When picking up your child from school, never leave your other children in the parked vehicle unattended to with the engine running.
• Always use your vehicle indicators and signal your intention to stop to the vehicles behind you. Stopping abruptly to pick up your child from school can be dangerous.
• Children should always be taught and reminded to board or alight from the vehicle/school bus only when it comes to a complete stop.