It’s that time of year again, schools throughout New Jersey will be opening this week and we all have a role in helping keep kids safe as they travel to and from school each day.  Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as you travel during the back-to-school season:


1)     Slow down and be alert! More students will be on the roads walking and biking to school. Driving slower and avoiding distractions gives drivers more time to react to changing conditions. Driving a few miles per hour slower won’t impact your arrival time, but it can make a major difference in saving a child’s life.


2)     Set a good example. Observe traffic laws. Use extra caution while reversing, do not speed, and don’t block crosswalks and intersections. Always remember to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks. When walking with children, cross at corners and use designated crosswalks whenever possible.


3)     Pay attention to crossing guards. Always stop when directed to do so by a crossing guard. When walking, be sure to follow the school crossing guard’s instructions and remind children to pay attention to crossing guards as well.


4)     Look out for school buses. Never pass a school bus when loading or unloading students. Watch for the bus flashing lights and extended stop arm and note traffic in both directions must stop, even on a divided road.


5)     Be patient. Parents, walking or biking with your child to school is a great way to avoid (and not worsen) morning traffic. When experiencing delays take a deep breath. A little patience goes a long way in all traffic situations.


Working together we can make safety a priority in our communities and help students arrive at school safe, healthy, and ready to learn each day by slowing down, being patient, and paying attention.