Back to School Safety
Source: Santa Barbara Police Department
The Santa Barbara Police Department continues to promote traffic safety within the community.
Back-to-School season is in full swing! It is a busy and exciting time, and also a time for fun and learning. It should not be a time for tragedy. As parents prepare to provide their kids with the essential school supplies and textbooks, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) encourages them to educate themselves and their children about proper safety precautions before heading back to the classroom.
Whether your children ride a bus, walk to school, ride a bicycle or are driven, talking to your kids about safety is important. In addition to providing information that helps them stay safe from specific dangers, these discussions let your children know that their safety is important to you, which in turn will help them become more aware of potentially dangerous situations and conditions, giving them a better chance of avoiding such dangers altogether!
Here are some important safety reminders for parents and guardians:
• Plan ahead. Plot your route and give yourself a few extra minutes to accommodate possible commute delays during mornings and afternoons. Apply any makeup and eat breakfast before you leave your house in the morning to avoid distractions while on the road.
• Exercise caution around schools and neighborhoods. Given the increase in pedestrian and bike traffic, drivers should always follow the posted speed limit inside school zones, which is often 25 mph maximum but may be as low as 15 mph. Keep an eye out for any children in the area.
• Be extra careful of drop off zones and make sure your kids are too. Too many parents are in a hurry to leave and don’t watch other children in the area.
• If you must use your cell phone, pull over into a parking space when it is safe to do so. Here are some simple safety reminders for children:
• If you have a child that will be riding a bike or walking to school, make sure they know the safest route, are familiar with traffic signals and signs, and remind them to stop and look both ways to make sure no cars are coming before using crosswalks. Children must wear a properly fitted helmet if they are going to ride a bike or skateboard.
• If your child rides a school bus, make sure that he or she knows to remain seated at all times, to keep the aisles clear, not to throw objects, not to shout or distract the driver, and to keep his or her hands inside the bus.
• Have a parent, friend or relative walk with your child to school. That extra set of eyes while walking may see something your child doesn’t and be able to keep them out of harm’s way.
The Santa Barbara Police Traffic Bureau recognizes these are just a few of the topics that might come up during family safety talks. The important thing is to have regular safety discussions as a family, such as during dinner, at bed time, or another time when you are interacting with your child. Making it a part of your regular routine will help instill a safety focus in your child that will help them through the rest of their life.
For more information on back to school safety, please visit:
ON A SIDE NOTE:
Santa Barbara kids are encouraged to walkabout – sometimes it’s their only option.
Children are still developing mentally and physically -- as a result, they sometimes make risky decisions when crossing the street. That coupled with distracted drivers, make it important for our City to continue to recruit for our school crossing guard program.
Interested community members are encouraged to join Santa Barbara Police Department as a crossing guard and be part of a team that keeps our community safe. Become a crosswalk hero! Applications can be picked up at the Police Station, Human Resources at City Hall, or be filled out online at www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov. The Police Department has released a short YouTube video to aid our recruitment: https://youtu.be/BlsjeUKCigQ