Back-to-School Driving Advice

2 September 2016 - By Eugene Herbert

Having run the “school” drop off in the last few days it made me more
conscious of how badly many parents drive.  With that in mind we are
sharing some timely tips from…


If You're Dropping Off . . .


Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school
year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More
 children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location,
according to the US National Safe Routes to School program. The
following apply to all school drop off zones:


·         Don’t
double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles.


·         Don’t
load or unload children across the street from the school.


·         Carpool,
if possible, to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.


Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians


According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the
children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are four to seven years
old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist passing a stopped
bus.


Here are some precautions drivers can take to help keep children safe:


·     Don’t
block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn,
forcing pedestrians to go around you. This could put them in the path of moving
traffic.


·          In a school zone when indicators  are blinking, stop and yield to
pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.


·         Always
stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign.


·         Take
extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and
parks, and in all residential areas.


·         Don’t
hoot or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of
way.


·         Never
pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.


·         Always
use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no
matter who has the right of way.


Sharing the Road with School Buses


If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than
if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop should the
bus need to stop quickly.


Never pass a bus from behind — or from either direction if you’re on an
undivided road — if it is stopped to load or unload children.


·         The
area 3- 4 meters around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop
far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.


·         Be
alert. Children are often unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and
take risks.


Sharing the Road with Bicyclists


On most roads, bicyclists have the
same rights and responsibilities as vehicles
,
but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special
problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine
traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning
right in front of a bicyclist.


·         When
passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 1.5 meters
between your vehicle and the cyclist.


·         When
turning right and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait
for the rider to pass.


·         If
you’re turning left and a bicyclist is approaching from behind on the left, let
the rider go through the intersection first. Always use your indicators


·     Watch
for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or indicating. Children
especially have a tendency to do this.


·         Be
extra vigilant in school areas and residential neighbourhoods.


·         Watch
for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars.


·         Check
side mirrors before opening your door.


While most fleet drivers won’t necessarily experience these conditions,
the reality is that most drivers could benefit from some of these reminders.


Till next time: Remember – you don’t want to be the one who runs over a
child.


Eugene Herbert



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