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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 9:43 pm | Fair 52º


Police Department Offers Safety Lessons as School Season Opens

Back-to-school season, now in full swing, is a busy time, one for fun and learning. It should not be a time for tragedy.

As parents prepare to provide their kids with school supplies and textbooks, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) urges them to educate themselves and their children about proper safety precautions before heading back to school.

Whether children ride a bus, walk to school, ride a bicycle or are driven, talking to them about safety is important.

In addition to providing information that helps them stay safe from specific dangers, these discussions let your kids know their safety is important to you, which will help them become more aware of potentially dangerous situations and conditions, giving them a better chance of avoiding such dangers altogether.

Following are some important safety reminders for parents and guardians:

» Plan ahead. Plot your route and allow a few extra minutes to accommodate possible commute delays during mornings and afternoons. Apply makeup, shave and eat breakfast before leave home in the morning to avoid distractions while on the road.

» Exercise caution around schools and neighborhoods. Given the increase in pedestrian and bike traffic, drivers should follow the posted speed limit in school zones, which is often 25 mph maximum but may be as low as 15 mph. Keep an eye out for any children in the area.

» Be extra careful of drop-off zones and make sure your kids are, too. Too many parents are in a hurry to leave and don’t watch other children in the area.

» If you must use your cell phone, pull into a parking space when it is safe to do so.

Here are some simple safety reminders for children:

» If you have a child who will be riding a bike or walking to school, be sure they know the safest route, are familiar with traffic signals and signs, and remind them to stop and look both ways to make sure no cars are coming before using crosswalks.

Children must wear a properly fitted helmet if they are going to ride a bike or skateboard.

» If your child rides a school bus, make sure he or she knows to remain seated at all times, to keep the aisles clear, not to throw objects, not to shout or distract the driver, and to keep his or her hands inside the bus.

» Have a parent, friend or relative walk with your child to school. That extra set of eyes while walking may see something your child doesn’t and be able to keep them out of harm’s way.

For more information on back-to-school safety, visit https://www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Campaigns/Ped_Safety/default.asp

or https://www.nhtsa.gov/back-school-safety.

Interested community members are urged to join the Santa Barbara Police Department as a crossing guard and be part of a team that keeps the community safe.

Applications can be picked up at the police station, human resources office at City Hall, or filled out online at www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov.  The Police Department has released a short YouTube video to aid its recruitment at https://youtu.be/BlsjeUKCigQ.

— Anthony Wagner for city of Santa Barbara.


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