School’s Out: Summer Safety Tips for Drivers and Parents

School is out for summer and the SCTPO wants to remind drivers and parents about the importance of keeping children safe throughout the summer months.

Drivers should be extra cautious in looking for child pedestrians and bicyclists during the summer.

Tips for Drivers:

  • Be alert, especially in residential areas.
  • Expect the unexpected. Children may cross the street at the wrong place or suddenly run or ride in front of you.
  • Obey all laws. Slow down if there are children along the road or crossing the street. Come to a full stop at intersections.
  • Be predictable. Don’t make sudden maneuvers that others, particularly children on foot or on a bicycle, are not expecting.
  • Double check behind you and around you when backing out of a driveway or parking space.
  • Don’t be distracted. Put down the coffee, put down the cell phone, and put both hands on the wheel. Avoid distractions within your vehicle, including loud music.
  • Yield the right of way to pedestrians. It isn’t just courteous, it’s the law.

Parents can help by reminding their children about staying safe on the roads.

Tips for Parents:

  • Focus on the basics. Teach your children to make eye contact with the driver before they cross, even if the walk signal is on.
  • Remind them to walk, don’t run across the road and;
  • To stop, look and listen before crossing the street.
  • Teach your children to cross at intersections that have a marked crosswalk or a pedestrian crossing light.
  • Teach children to watch out for cars that are backing up.
  • When walking with your child, avoid unnecessary shortcuts like walking through a parking lot. Drivers may not see children between parked cars and the children may not see the cars moving.
  • Remind children not to play in or around vehicles.

For more information, contact Kim Smith, Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Coordinator via email or by calling 321-690-6890.