It’s time to head back to school, and with the arrival of students in classrooms, that means more traffic and pedestrians in the mornings and afternoons. Officer Shawn Scott with the Rexburg Police Department shared tips for all ages on how to stay safe during this busy time.
“Obey the rules, use the crosswalks, look for the signals at the intersections and follow those,” Scott said.
For younger students, Scott recommended walking the routes with your children prior to the start of school and letting them know expectations of where to stop and look.
“Explain your expectations and what you want them to do at each intersection and what the dangers might be,” Scott said. “Just explain it to them.”
When it comes to those children walking without parents to and from schools or bus stops, Scott said having them walk in a group and teaching them about avoiding people who want to do them harm.
“The best thing to do is to make sure they know your phone number, and have it memorized,” he said.
Scott warned those who will be on the roads to make sure their path of vision is clear while driving, especially during cold mornings. A clear line of sight and focusing on the road will help prepare for the unexpected child crossing the road.
“Hands down, put your phones down if you are driving to or from school,” he said. “If you are walking, put your phone away and pay attention.”
Each school has a designated “school zone” where drivers are informed to slow down during school hours when children might be present. Scott said to be on the lookout and obey the signs.
“Don’t go above that speed limit and actually slower is better just in case a child happens to walk out in front of you or pop out of an unexpected place,” Scott said. “The slower you are going the better and more reaction time you will have.”
As far as students feeling safe while at school, Scott encouraged students to speak up when they feel uncomfortable.
“Don’t keep that to yourself, communicate that whether it is an adult that you trust, a parent, a teacher, a principal, a school police officer,” Scott said. “Go to them and say this is what is happening to me and get some advice.”