Ho'okele Staff | Aug 11, 2012
With schools back in session, it’s time to remind drivers to use extreme caution since many students will be walking or riding their bikes to and from school.
Drivers can expect large numbers of students going to school beginning just before 7 a.m. and continuing through 8 a.m. Afterschool traffic will wind down after 3:30 p.m.
“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of drivers to be on the lookout for children as they are walking or riding their bikes to school. There is always an adjustment period when classes resume,” said Darren Dean, school liaison for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH).
There are many students who are new to JBPHH and are not familiar with the traffic patterns.
“The best advice I can give is for drivers to slow down and give themselves more time to get to their destination. The extra time is certainly worth avoiding accidents,” Dean said.
Air Force Master Sgt. Patrick Nededog of the 647th Air Base Group is a parent of three children who attend Nimitz Elementary and Aiea High School. “Safety is about being vigilant when we drive. As adults, we should always have our situational awareness of our surroundings. Our youngsters tend to run in the streets.
As parents, we need to ensure that we look out for the keiki [children],” Nededog said.
Parents and their students should map out the safest route to school, including any alternate routes. Parents should discuss proper safety practices with their children, including how to use crosswalks and proper bicycle safety.
Parents are encouraged to have children wear bright clothing to increase visibility for drivers.
Children should not walk to school wearing headphones or playing portable video games because this makes it difficult for them to hear the traffic around them.
Careless drivers who ignore “do not pass” signs, or speed through crosswalks, make the area around buses and school loading zones dangerous.
Here are some school bus safety tips from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam safety office:
• Get to the school bus stop five minutes early.
• Stand away from the curb.
• Stay at least 10 feet from the bus, and do not stand behind the bus where the driver cannot see students.
• Sit quietly in the seat on the bus.
• Be careful when getting off the bus so nothing snags on the door.
• When stepping off the bus, look to make sure that no cars are passing on the shoulder.
• Learn and obey school bus laws.
Wherever your child goes to school, these rules are good guidelines to follow. Here are some additional safety rules for drivers:
Vehicle operation and parking:
• Drop off/pick up students at the designated curb. Wait in the designated waiting zone.
• Do not make illegal U turns in the roadway.
• Do not park (or stand) within 15 feet of any stop sign or yield sign.
• Do not park (or stand) within four feet of any parking area entrance or exit (i.e., driveway).
• Do not park (or stand) within 15 feet of any intersection or corner.
• Vehicles must not be parked within 20 feet of a cross walk.
• When vehicles are parked in a crosswalk, bicyclists and pedestrians have to jaywalk to cross the street.
• When vehicles are parked too close to the crosswalk, other drivers won’t see a small child walking on the obscured crosswalk.
• Stop at intersections.
• Cross the street only at established crosswalks.
• Walk bicycles across the crosswalk; don’t ride.
• Avoid weaving in and out of traffic.
• In a group, ride single file, not side-by-side.
• Ride at a safe speed.
• Wear a helmet (properly fastened, of course).
• Once on school property, walk the bike to the bike