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Parents, Motorists Reminded of Back-to-School Safety Tips
8/16/2011

Albemarle County students are back to school on Wednesday, August 24. With summer ending and the start of school just around the corner, Albemarle County would like to encourage area motorists and parents to be proactive and keep in mind some important safety tips to protect students as they head back to school.

Bus Safety
Motorists are reminded that state law requires vehicles to stop for school buses loading and unloading children unless the bus is across a divided highway with a median.  Drivers should also remember that children will be gathered at bus stops on the side of the road beginning Wednesday morning and should be alert to kids that may be crossing the road to reach a bus stop.  Parents should insure that children have a safe area to wait for the bus that is off the roadway and visible to oncoming traffic.

Here are some simple reminders for drivers:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in the residential neighborhoods and school zones
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs 
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully 
  • Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours 
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving

Reminders for your kids:

  • They should cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old 
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks 
  • Never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars 
  • Make sure they always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them

Home Alone Safety

The start of school means time at home unsupervised for many area students.  Here are some suggestions to help home alone kids feel safe and protected. Teach your "home alone" children:

  • to check in with you or a neighbor immediately after arriving home
  • how to call 9-1-1 or your area's emergency number
  • how to give directions to your home in case of emergency
  • how to use the door and window locks and the alarm system if you have one
  • to never let anyone into your home without asking your permission
  • to never let a caller at the door or on the phone know that they're alone 
  • to carry a house key with them in a safe place - don't leave it under a mat or hidden outside the house
  • how to escape in case of fire
  • to not go into an empty house or apartment if things don't look right - a broken window, ripped screen, or opened door
  • to let you know about anything that frightens them or makes them feel uncomfortable

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