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How can drivers keep school children safe on Fullerton's roads?

School is back in session for children in Fullerton. Some walk to school, some bike and others take the school bus. But, no matter how they travel to school, it is important for motorists to be aware of child pedestrians in their vicinity, and follow the traffic rules accordingly.

The National Safety Council reports that most youths who are killed in bus-related accidents are between the ages of four and seven, and they are pedestrians. These children are either struck by the bus itself or they are struck by another vehicle trying to illegally drive around a stopped school bus. These accidents are devastating for parents and the child's community, especially because they usually could have been prevented but for driver negligence. Therefore, it is important to keep the following tips in mind when driving near schools, in order to keep its students safe.

First of all, if a driver is waiting at a red light or to turn, the driver should make sure not to block the crosswalk. Blocking the crosswalk forces students to walk around the driver's vehicle, which could put the student right in the way of moving vehicles.

Also, if a motorist is driving in a school zone with blinking lights, the motorist needs to stop driving and yield to children walking across the street. If there is a crossing guard, stop when that individual is holding up a stop sign. In addition, keep in mind that children will not only be present in school zones, but in other areas a motorist might be driving, such as parks, playgrounds and neighborhoods.

Motorists should also avoid frightening a child pedestrian by honking the car horn or revving ann engine, even if the motorist technically has the right of way. Also, drivers should not try to pass another motorist who has stopped for a child pedestrian.

In the end, it is important to use extreme care to avoid pedestrian accidents involving children, no matter where the child is or which party had the right of way. It is up to all residents of Fullerton to keep children safe while on the road, and adhering to the traffic laws regarding pedestrians and school zones is one way to do that.

Source: National Safety Council, "Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road," accessed Sept. 12, 2016

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