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Back to School Safety Reminders

4J and the Eugene Police Department want to remind all drivers about safety as the new school year begins. More than 17,000 students will be heading to school this week, and motorists need to slow down and exercise good judgment as they travel near schools.

Below are some reminders and tips:

Parents

  • If you take your child to school, please be aware of school rules regarding student drop-offs. Most schools ask that you do not drop your child off in the same area as the bus drop-off. This is to reduce the chance of injury to your child and to avoid traffic congestion.
  • Point out the safe places to cross the street and identify areas of potential danger.
  • Identify bus stop locations and review and reinforce school bus safety rules.

Students

  • If you walk to school:
    • Use bike paths and sidewalks where available.
    • In areas where there are no sidewalks or bike paths, walk along the side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
    • Also, wear light-colored clothing and avoid using headphones or other electronic devices that will distract you from traffic.
    • Do not text and walk, especially while wearing headphones, as this can lead to distraction and possibly walking into traffic.
  • If you ride a bicycle to school:
    • If there are no bike paths, ride with traffic.
    • If riding in the dark, your bike must have a light on it.
    • And please remember to always wear a bicycle helmet.
  • If riding the bus to school:
    • Please arrive at your stop early.
    • Do not run into traffic while waiting for the bus.
    • Never walk behind the bus.
    • Make sure the bus comes to a complete stop before trying to enter or exit.
    • When crossing the street, observe traffic. Don’t rely solely on the bus lights, and watch for the signal from your bus driver to cross.

School Zone Driving Safety Tips

  • Drivers should reacquaint themselves with our local school zones, be watchful for signs and symbols indicating when a school zone begins and ends, and operate their vehicle accordingly. Remember that the speed limit in all school zones is 20 miles per hour.
  • Be on the lookout for school zone signals and always obey the speed limits.
  • Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students. Drivers must stop for the flashing bus safety lights when approaching a school bus from either direction when traveling on the same roadway, and they must remain stopped until the bus safety lights are no longer flashing.
  • Drivers must also stop for school traffic patrol monitors who assist students through crosswalks.
  • Be aware of and watch out for children near schools, bus stops, sidewalks, in the streets, in school parking lots, etc.
  • Never pass other vehicles while driving in a school zone.
  • Never change lanes while driving in a school zone.
  • Drivers are reminded to stay alert and to stay off of their phones. No texting and driving—ever! Texting is a significant driving distraction that can lead to serious injury or death.
  • Unless licensed to do so, never use handicap or emergency vehicle lanes or spaces to drop off or pick up students at school.

Everyone’s participation in following these guidelines will help ensure that students and drivers remain safe throughout the school year. Thank you in advance for your assistance!