Lee's Summit Journal

Review safety guidelines before the kids set out for school

Jackson Wichman, the author’s son, knows the safety rules as he bikes to school.
Jackson Wichman, the author’s son, knows the safety rules as he bikes to school. Courtesy photo

It’s late summer, the time for lines of yellow buses, parents in the drop-off line and extra walkers on their way to school. During this back to school time, we need to remember a few safety rules to ensure everyone’s safety.

Walking to school

▪ Review safe walking rules with your children.

▪ Be a role model for your children by following safe walking rules.

▪ Walk on the sidewalk if one is available. When on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.

▪ Before you cross the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming.

▪ Use crosswalks if they are available.

▪ Never dart out in front of a parked car.

Walking to bus stop

▪ Review the rules for walking to school, above.

▪ Stand back from the street while at the bus stop.

▪ Never play in the street.

▪ Wait for bus to come to a complete stop before walking toward it.

As drivers, we should also pay close attention to the extra children on the street. School zones are great for reducing speed, but paying close attention to children on their way to school will help ensure safety. So the next time you see children waiting for the bus or walking to school, remember to think back to school safety.

If your child is normally a bus rider and you want to try something different, check out Bike & Walk to School Day on Oct. 2. Many of our local schools participate in this event. Be sure to verify with your child’s school to see if they have any schoolwide events planned, or visit www.walkbiketoschool.org to look for other events in our area.

According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School: “Encouraging your child to walk or bike to school is a way to instill in him or her the active habits that can contribute to a lifelong healthy lifestyle. In addition to health benefits, there are intangible benefits as well. Many parents who have participated in a Walk to School Day or Bike to School Day say that the active trip to school has been a valuable way for them to spend time with their children and to socialize with other parents and neighbors.”

Molly Wichman is a Lee’s Summit resident and member of the Livable Streets Advisory Board, a mayor-appointed, volunteer board whose goals include working to make our community and our streets more “livable,” safe and accessible for all of our citizens.