Many schools have specific drop-off procedures and/ or lanes so make sure you drive by the school or call another parent who knows the school before the first day if you aren’t familiar with the school. If you can, try not to drop your child off across the street from their school to minimize risk. Optimally, try to arrange a carpool with neighbors who have kids that go to you child’s school; that way there are less vehicles on the road and you get to have days off from drop off duty! Remember to give yourself extra time to drive to the school on the first few days.
Are you speeding?
Be aware of the posted school zone speed limits so you aren’t the parent getting a ticket on the first day of school; talk about embarrassment. Some municipalities enforce school zone speed limits even when signs aren’t present, so get to know your town’s rules!
Where are the crossing guards?
Many busy intersections have crossing guards for the children in the morning and after school, usually they are sporting a brightly-colored vest to stand apart from the rest. Once the children have crossed the street and the guard lowered their stop sign, proceed with caution, you never know who might dart out in a mad dash to catch a bus.
The dreaded school buses.
Do you remember the distance you are supposed to keep when you are directly behind the bus? If you are tail-gaiting the bus in your rush to get the kids to school on time you could end yourself up with a fine. Also, no matter what side of the road you are on, you must stop as soon as the bus lowers their stop sign and can only proceed once the sign has returned to its original position.
Make sure you’ve had your coffee!
Be careful and watch for kids running to the bus as the bus lowers its sign and you proceed, they could possibly run in front of you if they are late and missing the bus. Kids move quickly and sometimes forget to check for traffic before they cross. Be prepared to stop suddenly if needed when you are travelling in school zones or near bus-stops.
Kids are always watching.
Be a good example for your children and their friends when you are driving them around to their various events and to school. Follow the rules of the road, watch your language, and don’t drive distractedly. Set a good example: never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians, never honk at pedestrians to speed them along even if you have the right of way, always stop for a crossing guard, and be mindful of your actions.
Good luck out there!