The beginning of September usually means one thing: school starts and thousands of students are on their way to their classrooms again.
Back to school also means drivers need to pay extra attention to what is happening on the road. Here is our guide to what to look out for in the coming weeks.
Back-to-school road safety:
- School safety zones
Developed to provide a safe traffic environment for children entering and leaving the school, these zones usually have a low speed limit anyway. This should not stop you from taking extra care in these zones and be ready to react fast. Kids can move quickly and are not as mindful about the traffic as adults.
- Crossing guards – the lollipop men and women
These wonderful people help children safely cross the street. They are hard to overlook in their high-visibility clothing. If you see a guard starting to cross, slow down and come to a stop until the guard and kids have reached the pavement.
- School buses
School buses are part of the busy traffic also. If you see one, keep a safe distance and be prepared to stop more often. Make sure you can see its mirrors, so the bus driver can see you! Don’t overtake a bus that has stopped to let kids enter or exit. Children can unexpectedly come running onto the road. Also, watch out for kids that trail behind.
- The school run
If you are regularly driving past a school, your journey will very likely be disrupted and prolonged by parents dropping off their kids. Traffic can move more slowly than previously. You should be prepared to come to a halt more often. If you can, try to avoid the busiest times between 8-9am and 3-4pm.
- Young cyclists
Take extra care when you see young cyclists on their way to school. Often they are not as experienced as adult cyclists. They can turn without proper signalling. Young cyclists are generally still learning to determine the road traffic conditions. Keep your distance. When overtaking, allow extra safety space and indicate early.
- Plan more time
Be prepared that your journey might take a few minutes longer than it used to in the past weeks during the 6-week summer holiday break. Avoid rushing and speeding and follow the rules of the road.