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Back-to-school safety tips

• Aug 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM

The first day of classes for the Grand Haven and Spring Lake school districts is Tuesday, Aug. 28. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office offers the following safety tips for going back to school:

Parents

  • Follow your school rules about dropping your child off at school. Most schools ask that you do not drop off your child in the same area as the bus drop-off. This is to avoid traffic congestion and to reduce the chance of injury to your child.
  • If you are the parent of a child who will be walking to school, walk your child’s route with them before the first day. Point out the safe places to cross the street and point out areas of danger. Talk about places or homes along the route where a child could go if they needed help, like a store or home with a Michigan Child Watch sign.
  • Identify bus stop locations and review and reinforce the school bus safety rules.

Students

  • If you walk to school, use bike paths and sidewalks where available. In areas where there are no sidewalks or bike paths, walk along the side of the road facing traffic.
  • If you ride a bike to school, wear a helmet and ride on the edge with traffic unless you are on a bike path. In the dark, your bike must have a light on it.
  • Wear light-colored clothing and avoid using headphones or other electronic devices that will block noise.
  • If you ride the bus, arrive to your bus stop early.
  • Make sure the bus comes to a complete stop before trying to enter or exit the bus.
  • When crossing the street, observe traffic, don’t rely solely on the bus lights, and watch for the signal from your bus driver to cross. Never walk behind the bus.

Motorists

  • When driving prior to school and at dismissal time, be aware of traffic around the schools.
  • As a driver, it is your responsibility to know where school speed zones are and adhere to the speed limit.
  • Watch for crossing guards and stop when directed.
  • When approaching a school bus activating its flashing red lights, you must stop until the lights stop flashing.
  • Remember that children have unpredictable behavior.

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