Staying Safe As The New School Year Begins


Schools are heading back into session over the next few days, with others already in session for the new school year.

Not every student rides the bus to school.

According to Georgetown Police, the Indian River School District has more than 300 students who walk to school, and it’s just as important to watch for pedestrians as it is to be alert for school buses and follow the law as they stop.

Police say it may be a good idea for parents and guardians to walk their child’s route each year to determine if there are any changes or hazards. Walkers should make sure to use crosswalks, and adding bright or reflective items to a backpack could improve visibility.

Georgetown Police shared more tips for a safe start to the school year:

Parents should walk their child’s route each year to determine any changes or hazards.

Walkers should make sure to use crosswalks, standing at the corner of the intersection and looking both ways before crossing. If no crosswalks are provided, always walk facing traffic, watch for turning vehicles and make sure vehicles come to a complete stop before crossing.

Walkers should never enter a street between parked cars due to limited visibility and walk far enough in front of stopped vehicles so they are seen. Students should make sure to walk, not run while crossing the streets.

Parents could add bright or reflective items to a child’s backpack to help increase visibility as an added precaution.

Drivers need to take extra time and precautions to ensure the safety of student walkers. Drivers should slow down and make sure to be alert and patient not only in school zones but at intersections, medians, and curbs where students may travel to or from school.

Drivers should be prepared for children to enter the roadways and leave plenty of space when stopped near crosswalks so other drivers can see any approaching pedestrians.

Drivers are encouraged to be patient when other vehicles are stopped for pedestrians and not pass those vehicles.

 In conjunction with state law, drivers should not be talking on cell phones or texting while driving.

Be alert for an increase in bicyclists. To prevent collisions, drivers should anticipate bicyclists who may not follow the rules of the roadway.