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Salvi Law offers back-to-school traffic safety tips

29

August

2016

Back-to-School-post

CHICAGO (Salvi Law) – Chicago Public School students will head back to school on Tuesday, September 6. The start of the school year means getting back into the swing of routines, making lunches and sports starting up again! But it also means an increase in pedestrian and motor traffic around schools.

Even if you don’t have a child heading back to school this year, you will most likely be affected by the back-to-school transition over the next several weeks. Whether that is getting stuck behind a school bus, driving through a school zone, or passing children on their way to school. It is important to keep some things in mind as students gear up for the new year.

SCHOOL BUSES

  • When a school bus in the middle of traffic has their red lights flashing, that is your cue to come to a complete stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign means students are either boarding or disembarking the bus. To keep children safe, all traffic must come to a complete stop. Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is preparing to make a stop.
  • Failure to come to a complete stop before reaching the school bus can result in a $150 fine and the suspension of your driver’s license.

SPEED

  • Of course, motorists should reduce their speed in school zones during school hours and when children are present. The speed limit in school zones is 20 miles per hour.
  • Drivers should allow for extra travel time in anticipation of increased traffic during the morning and afternoon commutes.

DISTRACTED DRIVING

  • Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings while driving, but it is extra important to be on the look out for children walking and riding their bicycles to school. Younger children are more likely to dart out between cars.
  • You should not pass other vehicles or change lanes when driving in a school zone.
  • The use of electronic devices in a school zone is illegal. As always, you should not text while driving!

While school bus-related child fatalities are extremely rare, there are an average of 134 school-transportation related deaths per year, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Most of those fatalities involved a driver or passenger of a vehicle other than a school bus.

However, the same report found about 12 children die per year after being struck by their school bus or waiting for their bus. It is important to follow the safety tips above to keep children safe during the 2016-2017 school year.

Remember, it takes several weeks for students and drivers to get accustomed to the new back-to-school routine. Always be vigilant and drive defensively to decrease the risk of crash or injury.

Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. would like to wish all students a happy and safe school year!

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