Transportation

15 Tips To Drive And Walk Safely In School Zones

In 2017, 811 vehicle crashes occurred in school zones in Texas, resulting in two deaths and 30 serious injuries.

The Texas Department of Transportation recommends drivers be particularly alert when driving in school zones, especially when the school year has begun.

Half of the school districts in Harris County have already started the 2019-20 school year. And with many more children walking in school zones and surrounding areas, drivers need to be alert. In 2017, 811 vehicle crashes occurred in school zones in Texas, resulting in two deaths and 30 serious injuries, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). 

Below are 15 tips from TxDOT for driving and walking safely in school zones.

  1. Remain alert at all times.
  2. Put away your cell phone. Cell phone use is banned in active school zones and violators face fines of up to $200 where signs are posted.
  3. Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Traffic fines usually double in school zones.
  4. Drop off and pick up children in the school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.
  5. Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
  6. Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.
  7. Obey all traffic rules, signs and signals.
  8. Stay away from alcohol and/or drugs, including prescribed and over-the-counter medication which may impair driving.

This TxDOT video summarizes the tips for drivers, parents and students:

 

TxDOT also recommends that parents and guardians instruct children to:

  1.  Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and left again before proceeding. Never attempt to cross a multi-lane highway.
  2.  Always walk on sidewalks, whenever they’re available.
  3.  Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.
  4.  Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Never assume a driver sees you.
  5. Always obey crossing guards.
  6. Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
  7. When walking, don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.

AAA also recommends that drivers be particularly alert in the afternoon. Between 2000 and 2010, nearly one-third of child pedestrian fatalities nationwide occurred between 3 and 7 p.m. according to AAA.

The Texas Department of Transportation recommends that parents and guardians teach their children to always obey crossing guards.

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