The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (DHTS) is reminding everyone to be safe in school zones now that school is back in session. School zones affect pedestrians, buses, parent-driven vehicles and student-driven vehicles. Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children in New Jersey, and on average, one pedestrian under the age of 15 is struck by a motor vehicle each day. Many of these tragedies occur in conjunction with travel to and from school. Therefore, everyone involved must work together to create a safer environment.
School zones can pose significant dangers for students, parents and faculty. The level of activity in school zones, especially immediately before and immediately after school, requires pedestrians and motorists to proceed with extreme caution. The DHTS has issued some back-to-school safety tips to keep everyone safe:
- Follow the instructions of crossing guards.
- Review your school’s student drop-off plan. If the school does not have a plan, contact school administrators to encourage them to develop one.
- When dropping off children, be cautious when pulling away from the curb.
- Drop off children on the school side of the street next to the curb. If that is not possible, park legally and walk children into the school.
- Stop, and remain stopped, for all pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Do not double park to let children out.
- Remember that children may move and act spontaneously, so it is more important than ever to avoid distractions like talking on the phone and texting while driving.
- Make sure everyone is restrained in the appropriate child safety seat.
- Teach children to look all ways before crossing and to only walk in crosswalks.
- Make sure children arrive early to their bus stop so they are not running to catch the bus.
- Children should wait at least 6 feet from the curb and should never approach the bus before it comes to a stop.
- Drivers should reduce their speed not only in school zones, but also in any area where children are present.
If your child was injured or killed by a negligent driver, consult with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney like the team at Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy for diligent legal representation.