Alameda Police are reminding drivers to be vigilant on the roads as summer ends and kids return to school. They’ve provided the following guidelines.
- Slow Down – Traditionally, at the beginning of the school year, parents and children are trying to adjust to their new daily routines and become rushed. Many times they leave for school late and are rushing to drop their kids off at school so they too can get to work on time. When you realize this is what you’re doing, take that opportunity to remind yourself to drive slowly and safely to your destination. Plan the next day to start 15 minutes earlier.
- Crosswalks and Crossing Guards – Watch for crosswalks and Crossing Guards on your path of travel. Remember – when pedestrians are crossing the street, ALL vehicles must yield the right of way until the pedestrians are a safe distance away. Pay attention to the directions given by the crossing guards. You must remain stopped when the “STOP” paddle is displayed.
- Pedestrians – Pedestrians must enter a crosswalk only when it is safe to do so. Adults can teach and model the proper way to do this for their children. Even if your child does not walk to school on a normal basis, having proper instruction from an adult will help keep them safe when they do start.
- Distracted Driving – 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.
- Driving – Enter school zones on full alert. Be on the lookout for children running into traffic from between parked cars. Be aware of all pedestrian traffic when entering and exiting driveways, particularly the ones that lead in and out of schools.
- School Buses – When you approach a school bus which is stopping, or has stopped, watch for flashing bus lights and extended bus “STOP” signs. Passing a bus with its red lights flashing or “STOP” sign extended is against the law.
- Bicycles – When a bicycle is ridden on the roadway, the rider of the bike must follow all of the same rules that a motor vehicle driver must follow. When crossing at intersections, it is recommended that the bicyclist walk the bike in a crosswalk. Even though it is required by law that all riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet, it is highly recommended that all riders wear one.