Traffic in School Zones: How Can We Increase Safety for All?

Being dropped off, walking to school, crossing the street, walking home from school, and being picked up are all situations where many kids are near roadways around their school. For this reason, school zones can be a dangerous area for students of all grade levels. The traffic surrounding a school is subject to special laws in order to keep kids safer. These include lower speed limits, special crossing sections, and crossing guards. However, there are even more ways to increase safety in school zones.

Carpooling is one way to decrease the number of cars near a school zone. Parents can also take the walk with their kiddos to and from school to help them stay safe and out of roadways. Teaching kids street safety is extremely important in order to prevent injury. Adult supervision can keep kids safe before and after school in the pick-up and drop-off lines. Finally, those on the road should always follow traffic laws designed to keep school zones safe.

Encouraging Carpooling and Bus Access

Carpooling and bus access is great for a number of reasons. For one, it can help other parents and nannies who have pick-up and drop-off issues because of work, other kids, or activities. Some schools have carpooling programs that allow parents to communicate and make carpooling plans based on location. Carpooling is also helpful for the environment due to reduced emissions. Further, carpooling and school buses also lower traffic, which inadvertently creates a safer school zone. School administrators, teachers, and parents can rally together for carpooling programs and more bus access in order to keep children safer in school zones.

Taking the Walk With Your Child

Many kids walk or ride their bikes to and from school. At a certain age, many parents agree that it’s fine for them to take this journey on their own. However, supervision is always a great way to help keep kids a little safer. Playground supervision is a great way to keep kids safer in the summer, and supervising their commute is a great way to keep kids safer on their way to and from school.

By taking this trek with your kids, you can see the route they take and how safe it is. You can make suggestions to the school about areas that may need additional signage or a crossing guard, and make notes if your child is making mistakes, such as crossing the street without looking or riding their bike on the wrong side of the road.

Teaching Kids Street Safety

Help to increase safety by teaching your kids about staying safe near a roadway. Keeping them safe in the car is important, but it’s also important to teach them about being safe once they are out of the car as well. Some street safety tips for kids include:

  • Look before getting out of the car: Kids should know not to open the car door on their own (when they are younger). They should also be cautious when opening the car door on their own. They must not to open the door and jump into the road without looking first.
  • Know your signals: Knowing their street signs will help them to know when a crossing is safe. Teach them about the walking signs and where to never cross the street.
  • Stop, look, cross: It’s important that kids know that a crosswalk doesn’t always mean it’s safe to cross. It’s still important to stop, look, and then cross when it’s safe. They need to know that cars can’t always see them, so they need to be alert.
  • Stay on the sidewalk: Teach your kids that sidewalks are safe and the street is not. It’s never okay to walk in the street, so teaching them this is important in order to avoid an accident.

Adult Supervision in the Pick-Up Line

One way to increase traffic safety in school zones is for the school to provide adult supervision in the pick-up and drop-off line. Many schools already do this and have teachers show up early or stay late in order to keep an eye on the many kids shuffling in and out of school near the street.

Hazardous pick-up and drop-off lines are one of the issues of traffic safety around school zones, so it’s important for schools to take these safety measures seriously. Supervisors should be trained, lanes should be clearly marked, and pick-up and drop-off areas should be designated in a way that is safe and efficient.

Following School Zone Laws

It’s important that the drivers, parents, and bus drivers in a school zone are following school zone traffic laws. The result of a mistake can mean serious injury or even death to a child, so it’s important that the people behind the wheel, as well as pedestrians, are taking safety seriously. This means harsh punishments for those who aren’t following traffic laws and adequate signage around a school zone.

If your child is injured, it’s important to understand that there are resources to help. If you’re walking or driving near a school, don’t take school zone laws lightly. If you notice someone breaking these rules, or that there should be more crossing guards or school zone signage around the school, tell the school’s administrators.

Traffic safety is an extremely important aspect of keeping kids safe from harm. Cars are dangerous, and school zones have a lot of kids spending time near the roadway. This is why it’s important to increase safety for everyone near a school zone. By carpooling more often, supervising kids on their walk to school, teaching kids roadway safety, having supervision in the pick-up line, and following school zone laws, kids will be safer when commuting to and from school. It’s everyone’s duty to help increase safety for all.

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