Mesa Arizona 2014-15 Schools Start August 6, Watch For Pedestrian Students

Wednesday, August 6, marks the first day of school for thousands of Mesa students, which means it’s time for parents, teachers, neighbors and drivers to think about school zone safety. The City of Mesa Transportation Department would like to offer some reminders.

Safety around schools is everyone’s responsibility. Children can be unpredictable and, because they are smaller in size, can be harder for drivers to see. They cannot accurately judge speed, distance or the direction that sounds are coming from. Drivers especially need to be aware and make road safety a priority by observing the speed limit and paying attention to school zones and parking signs during school hours.

For motorists, keep these tips in mind:
· Do not eat, drink, text, talk on a cell phone or have any other distraction while driving. Make school zones “No Phone Zones.”
· Look for flashing yellow lights that remind drivers to reduce speeds when school is in session.
· No passing is allowed in the15 mph crosswalk zone.
· Watch for children on bikes, walking, getting on and off buses and being dropped off by parents in and around neighborhoods.

Cyclists who ride a bike to and from school, remember these tips:
· Wear a bike helmet. Helmets can reduce injuries up to 85%.
· Always ride on the right side of the road and obey all traffic rules.
· Watch out for cars coming out of driveways and alleys or pulling away from the curb.
· Walk your bike across the crosswalk.

Pedestrians are advised to practice the following safe-walking behaviors:
· Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Do not cross mid-block.
· Look for traffic before crossing – look left, then right, then left again.
· Do not play around or push friends while waiting to cross.
· Do not play near driveways, streets or parking lots.

Students who ride a school bus should follow these safety tips:
Be at the bus stop on time. Never run to or from a bus.
Wait at the designated stop and stay away from the street.
Always stand at least 10 feet away from the bus. The driver cannot see you if you are closer.
If something falls under or near the school bus, tell the driver. Never try to pick it up yourself.
Do not throw anything out the windows.

For more information about school zone safety, contact Kimberly Nelson with the Mesa Transportation Department at (480) 644-6553.