Disclaimer: Los Tweens is a proud Ford ambassador and receives compensation on reviews, interviews and campaigns. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
We’re thrilled to announce that we have partnered with Ford Motor Company to bring awareness to driving safety around schools. Through grants for two Miami-Dade schools, an informative social media campaign, an online-giveaway allowing you to nominate your child’s school and more, we’re hoping to educate drivers and make schools more safe for everyone.
Facts on School Safety Zones
First a little back story:
My tweens’ school principal has been complaining about safety issues during school drop-off and pick-up. Her problem isn’t that the procedures in place are ineffective, it’s that parents don’t follow them. Parents are using cell phone while driving on-campus, turning on their cars when children are still walking through the school yard and disobeying the student safety patrols. Actually, she says that not only do some people disregard student safety patrols they also go as far as to curse, yell and flip them off.
Just crazy especially considering the following facts:
- From 2009-2013, there were 1,456 crashes involving 1,664 Miami-Dade pedestrians ages 0-17 years and 37 children were killed. Although the injuries in Miami-Dade have decreased, it is still one of the leading causes of injury in this group.
- Because of their size, it’s difficult for children to see motorists or for motorists to see them.
- A child’s peripheral vision is about one-third narrower than an adults. It takes children longer to see a motorist approaching them from the right or left.
- Children have a greater difficulty judging a car’s speed and distance. They also believe that if they can see the motorist, the motorist can see them.
Driving Tips Around Schools
Even before our children were born, we began creating “safety zones” for them. Now that they are of school-age, these safety zones extend beyond our homes and around our schools. And, just how we read up on everything that we needed to do to baby-proof our homes, it’s time to read up on how to prevent accidents around our schools. Here are a few important tips to remember:
- Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits, both in school zones and in neighborhoods surrounding the school.
- Comply with local school drop-off and pick-up procedures for the safety of all children accessing the school.
- Avoid double parking or stopping on crosswalks to let children out of the car. Double parking will block visibility for other children and other motorists. Visibility is further reduced during the rain and fog seasons when condensation forms on car windows.
- Avoid loading or unloading children at locations across the street from the school. This forces youngsters to unnecessarily cross-busy streets—often mid-block rather than at a crosswalk.
- Prepare to stop for a school bus when overhead yellow lights are flashing. Drive with caution when you see yellow hazard warning lights are flashing on a moving or stopped bus.
- Stop for a school bus with its red overhead lights flashing, regardless of the direction from which the driver is approaching. Drivers must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion and the red lights stop flashing, or until signaled by the school bus driver to proceed.
- Watch for children walking or bicycling (both on the road and the sidewalk) in areas near a school.
- Watch for children playing and gathering near bus stops. Watch for children arriving late for the bus, who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
- Please be kind to school crossing guards. These guards provide countless hours helping our children cross-busy streets as they arrive and depart from school. Crossing guards often encounter hostile attitudes from individuals who are more concerned with their own personal agendas than the safety of school children.
- Avoid using a cell phone in and around school zones. If you are texting, talking or making a call, it can affect your ability to react quickly. Again, children’s actions can be unpredictable. Also many drivers miss the school zone speed limit signs and signals due to the cell phone distraction.
- When a school bus stops you must stop. Never pass a school bus that is loading or unloading children. Passing a stopped school bus is a four-point infraction and is very dangerous.
Do you follow all of these rules? Have you been slacking on a few? I know when I am late for drop-off or pick-up I have to remind myself to slow down. The consequences of being late are nothing compared to a child’s safety.
Help Your School Drive Safe Giveaway
All parents and all drivers sometimes need a reindeer to drive safe when they are around schools so we’re giving you a chance to bring the campaign to your school. Here’s how you can help your neighborhood drive safe and there’s a little bonus for you!
What: Win $100 grant for your school to purchase safety equipment plus Ford School Safety Zone banner by entering the #FordDriveSafe Giveaway and a $50 Target gift card for yourself.
When: September 22nd through midnight on October 7th, 2014
How to Enter: Leave a comment below sharing the school you’d like to nominate AND what which safety tip you think drivers most often forget. Be sure to enter your information into the Rafflecopter widget and check for additional entry options!
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