2017-08-27 / Insight


Sheriff McKenna urges safety when back to school

Summer is officially coming to end which means Lapeer County students will be headed back to the classroom and Sheriff Scott McKenna wants YOUR children's journey to be as safe as possible.

Of the 301 school-age children killed from 2006 to 2015 in school-transportation-related crashes in the U.S., 102 were pedestrians and eight were pedal-cyclists, according to the most available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"We live in an age where we are surrounded by distractions. Drivers and pedestrian's need to be aware of the dangers of being on their cell phones while driving. The bottom line is, put the cell phone away and get to you school in a safe manner," Sheriff McKenna warns.

Deputies will be out in full force patrolling school zones throughout the county. Here are some additional tips from the Lapeer County Sheriffs Office for a safe trip back to school:

If you drive your children to school

Be sure to use the appropriate parent drop-off/pick-up areas. Once at the school, please follow the instructions given by the school's staff.

Drive defensively, please be aware that children are not always paying attention and could walk out in front of your vehicle. Please be prepared to stop quickly.

Slow down and watch out for school zones and children walking or biking to school or in congregating near bus stops. Be alert for new student drivers.

Remember buses will make frequent stops. It's not only dangerous to students, but its against the law to pass a school bus while it's stopped on the roadway picking up and dropping off students.

When turning at an intersection, be sure to yield to pedestrians and cyclists.

If you are a student riding the bus

Students must follow ALL of the rules of the bus! Bus drivers need to pay attention to the roadway and not be distracted by poor student behavior.

Stay out of the roadway while waiting for the bus to arrive.

Make sure you remain in clear view of the bus driver. Never walk behind the bus. Look both ways before getting on the bus.

After getting off of the bus, look both ways and then move immediately onto the sidewalk and out of traffic.

If you walk to ride your bike to school

When walking, walk on sidewalks where available and always cross at the intersection.

For bike riders, wear a properly-fitted helmet at all times. Also, riders should use a bike that is the right size for them and make sure that they don't have any loose clothing, drawstrings or shoelaces.

Bike riders should ride on the right, in the same direction as traffic, and use appropriate hand signals. Bicyclists also should respect traffic lights and stop signs.

Sheriff McKenna states, "Please take the time and sit down with your children and review these safety tips. The Sheriff's Office wishes all the students of Lapeer County a Safe and Blessed school year."

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