CONCORD — As the school year approaches, Chief Joseph O’Connor and the Concord Police Department would like to offer road safety tips for motorists, children, parents and guardians.
The first day of school for Concord Public School students is Wednesday, Sept. 9.
“With a higher number of students expected to be walking or riding their bicycles to school this year, we wanted to take a moment to remind community members to use extra caution when traveling by school zones and bus stops,” Chief O’Connor said. “Parents and guardians should also talk with their children about the precautions they can take when travelling to school to ensure they arrive safely.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has several tips for motorists as the school year begins:
- Look for children walking or bicycling when backing out of a driveway or garage.
- Be vigilant and watch for children who may be walking or bicycling to school in neighborhoods with school zones.
- Watch out for children who may be crossing the street.
- Be mindful of children who may be standing in a group or playing near a bus stop.
- Slow down.
- Remember: yellow flashing lights signify that a bus is slowing down to either pick up or drop off children. Prepare to stop your vehicle.
- Remember: red flashing lights and extended stop arms signify that a bus has stopped to pick up or drop off children. Drivers traveling in both directions are required to stop their vehicles and wait until the lights stop flashing, the extended stop arm is withdrawn and the bus continues driving.
The Concord Police Department also wishes to remind that the hands-free law requires drivers to stay off of all electronic devices while driving. Drivers are also reminded to keep the windows of their vehicle clean and clear.
The NHTSA also has several tips for children and parents at bus stops:
- Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early, and wait approximately six feet away from the curb.
- Do not allow children to run or play at a bus stop.
- Wait until the bus stops completely, the door opens and the driver says it is safe to board the bus before getting on.
- Do not walk behind a school bus.
- If a child drops an item near a school bus, he or she should first tell the bus driver about the dropped item.
- If a child needs to cross the street to board the bus, he or she should make eye contact with the driver, use the sidewalk until crossing, and walk approximately 10 feet in front of the bus.
Additionally, the Concord Police Department would like to remind those who are walking or biking to school of the following tips from the Massachsuetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT):
- Whether walking or biking, always remain alert and be aware of any traffic around you.
- Cross carefully. Wait on the sidewalk until you make eye contact with the driver before crossing.
- Wear bright or light colored clothing when walking or biking to ensure you are seen.
- Always wear a proper fitting helmet when riding a bicycle.
Anyone with questions about road safety is encouraged to contact the Concord Police Department’s Safety Officer, Inspector Ron Holsinger at 978-318-3445 or [email protected].