7-26-22 Police offer road safety tips for back to school

Hawaii Police Department
Traffic Services section
Program Manager Torey Keltner
Phone: (808) 961-2305

media release

With Island Keiki returning to school soon, the Hawaii Police Department is encouraging motorists to drive safely when approaching school areas. We know that in these areas there are many young pedestrians interacting with vehicular traffic. The Hawai’i Island Police Department is encouraging all pedestrians to use the crosswalks and follow the directions of the school crossings at the schools. Adults can set a good example for children when crossing the streets safely.

Here are road safety tips to keep in mind as kids head back to school.

For drivers:

  • Slower. Watch out for children walking on the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.
  • When backing out of a driveway or exiting a garage, be aware of children walking or cycling to school.
  • be vigilant. Children who are late for the bus can dash onto the street without paying attention to the traffic.
  • Watch out for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Follow the school bus “flashing light” system used by school bus drivers to alert motorists to upcoming actions:
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is stopping to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Flashing red lights and extended support arms indicate that the bus is stopping and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait for the red lights to stop flashing, the extended stop arm to retract and the bus to start moving before they can move again.

When driving in school zone neighborhoods, be aware of young people who may be thinking about getting to school but may not be thinking about getting there safely.

Ride the school bus:

School buses are the safest way for children to travel to and from school. However, there are dangers when children get on and off. In the past decade, nearly two-thirds of school-age pedestrians fatally injured in school transit accidents have been hit by school buses or other vehicles while boarding or exiting a school bus. Teach your child to always be SAFE:

  • Stay five paces from the curb.
  • AAlways wait for the bus driver to tell you when to get on.
  • fAce forward after finding a seat on the bus.
  • EGet off the bus when it stops, look left-right-left and walk five steps away from the bus to the curb.

Drive your kids to school:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said if you drive to school, make sure a safe driver is behind the wheel. Every journey begins with everyone wearing seat belts, using booster seats, or being properly secured in an appropriate car seat. Every child should ride in the back seat; Children in the front seats are 40 percent more likely to be injured in accidents.

Discuss safety tips with children, model on-road behaviors including buckling up in the car, and obey all road rules every time you drive, drive or walk.

We all have a role to play in protecting our students. Let’s work together and drive with Aloha, brake when approaching school areas, pay close attention to crosswalks and help school crossing attendants to help kids get to school safely.

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