Back to School Safety Tips for Drivers, Parents, & Students
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF): “The biggest thing for drivers is to be patient,” says Public Information Officer for CPD, Jeremy Eames.
With school officially in session, AAA and Chattanooga Police Department want to remind drivers to be cautious and follow the law when driving in school zones and near school buses.
“AAA did a survey recently and we found that over half of Tennessee residents drive through either a school zone or school bus stop on their daily commute,” says AAA Spokesperson, Megan Cooper.
Eames says, “You’re looking at not just a violation of a stop sign with the bus having the sign up , but you’re also looking at a potential reckless endangerment charge… that’s very dangerous to pass a bus who is stopped who is either boarding kids or unloading kids.”
AAA is encouraging students to wear something reflective either on a jacket or backpack so they can be seen by drivers when visibility can be low.
They also recommend to be five steps away from the street when waiting for the bus.
“Make sure that your student is not getting there very, very early. What you’re looking for is maybe five minutes before the bus gets there. Any sooner than that, kids typically start to play. They might get a little rowdy. And, that can be very dangerous if they’re standing near a roadway,” continues Cooper.
“Just because the bus is there. Just because the sign is out, that doesn’t mean that drivers are paying attention, so it’s a good idea for students to also as they’re crossing the street, if they’re getting off the bus, or they’re crossing the street to get on the bus, it’s still a really good idea to look both ways and make sure traffic is stopped,” cautions Eames.
Teen drivers coming to and from school are urged to use the same caution as adult drivers.
“From sixteen year olds to 66 or 67 year olds, everyone needs to be paying attention. Watch for your officers who are directing traffic.”
“Particularly with teen drivers, other passengers can be very, very distracting…If they’re going to be riding with a friend to school, teach them to be a good passenger, and not be unnecessarily distracting to that driver,” says Cooper.