Driving Children to School
Some parents prefer to drive their children to school. If you do, there are some safety measures you can take that will help your child and other children as well.
Parents can unintentionally cause problems by:
- Double parking and blocking traffic;
- Getting in the way of school buses;
- Dropping children off in the middle of the street or on the side of the street opposite to the sidewalk of the school entrance; or
- Failing to observe loading zones and parking regulations.
Problems become worse during bad weather. Your school should have a plan for reducing traffic congestion around the school during arrival and departure times. Ask your principal. If there is no plan, urge the principal and the School Site Council to draw one up. It will help protect the lives and health of all students. Plans should ensure that children being dropped off by parents/guardians or school buses do not need to cross other traffic to enter the school.
The following can help to ensure that children arrive at school safely:
- Students and adults should always wear their safety belts and utilize cell phone earpieces when talking and driving. It is the law in California. More importantly, it can save your child’s life or protect him or her from serious injury.
- If your car is equipped with a passenger side air bag, any child under the age of 12 should ride in the back seat. While air bags can and do save lives, they can also be harmful to small children.
- Children should be careful when exiting an automobile. Always let your child out on the sidewalk side of the school so that he or she does not have to cross the street to enter the school.
- Make sure your child is alert when walking near or around other vehicles. Doors might be opened or “parked” cars might suddenly back up.
- Arrange to pick up or drop off your child in a safe area, away from the congestion of cars and buses.
- Do not block intersections, crosswalks, or areas designated as Bus Loading Zones.