OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Back-to-school is right around the corner. The Oklahoma City Police Department wants to remind you to be careful when cruising past schools. 

Many Oklahoma children are headed back to school this week. So, police warn drivers and students about what to look out for when traveling to or from school. That includes your little ones who are walking or biking to and from school every day.

“The important thing for them to remember is when they’re making sure that they’re utilizing the sidewalks where they can. If there’s no sidewalk available, if you’re walking walk against traffic, it’s as close to the curb or on the grass if you can,” said Dillon Quirk, Oklahoma City Police Department.
Dillion Quirk with the Oklahoma City Police Department also said if your student is biking, ride with the traffic it is always safer to be accompanied by a parent.

“We know that’s not always possible with parents that have to be at work, but larger groups are always a safer bet to go. If your kids are waiting on the school bus, on the corner, in large groups would be the safest route,” said Quirk.

Police want drivers to remember to obey the school zone speed limit, you can get a hefty fine for speeding through there. Also, pay attention, if you see a student crossing the street, make eye contact so they know you’re preparing to stop.  

“It’s important for our walkers out there to do the same. Don’t just assume that a vehicle sees you make eye contact with that driver and cross the street when safely and always utilize crosswalks, when and where you can,” said Quirk.

According to the National Safety Council , the area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children. So, when approaching a school bus when it’s loading or unloading children, stop at least 10 feet away to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus.

“You definitely don’t pass a school bus when it’s loading or unloading children. They’re equipped with those stop signs that some of them blink… It’s important to note that while they’re getting off or getting on the school bus, they could be running in front of your car. So, when you think that it’s safe to go, just take the couple extra seconds and make sure that everybody’s loaded or are unloaded off of there,” said Quirk.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports, “the school bus is the safest vehicle on the road. Your child is much safer taking a bus to and from school than traveling by car. Although four to six school-age children die each year on school transportation vehicles, that’s less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide.”