The sun is out, temperatures are hovering in the plus-double digits, the roads are dry and fast, and kids are back in school for the push to the June finish line.
With that, they are at their most vulnerable while trekking to and from school.
Kids are kids and although we adults would like them to exhibit total roadside safety, they may not, and it is our responsibility to not only teach school-bus safety, but to be guardians of their well being.
Know school locations in your neighborhood and your route to work. Drive as though a child is going to bounce from between parked cars or dart from the roadside.
Be ready to stop immediately. Make eye contact with children attempting to cross a street/highway so they know you see them and motion that you are allowing them to cross.
“Stop means stop and the penalty for not doing so is $402,” notes the RCMP. So, if morality and decency isn’t sufficient to get all drivers to participate in the safety of our children, then maybe finances will.
RCW encourages parents to teach children the following:
Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled pick up time. Children should never run after the school bus to try to catch it. If you miss the bus, go back home or if you are at school, report to a teacher. Elementary children must have an adult at the bus stop during pick-up and drop-off. Stay on the sidewalk, well away from the roadway and stay back until the bus has come to a full stop and the door opens.
Riding on the school bus:
Take a seat as quickly as possible, put belongings under the seat and stay seated. Never stick anything out of the window, including arms or heads. The bus isn’t the place for socializing with anyone other than those in your immediate vicinity. Stay in your seat and behave in a respectful manner. Wait until the school bus comes to a complete stop before getting off.
RCW welcomes your input at www.ruralcrimewatch.com.
Jonathan McCormick and Denny Fahrentholz are columnists from Rural Crime Watch.
Editor’s note: Walt Cobb’s column is unavailable this week.