The holidays are fast approaching and it’s a good time to review the basic back to school safe driving tips.
Watch for Buses
While the flashing lights on a school bus and the bus itself with its loud yellow paint job may be hard to miss, its good to be especially vigilant during school hours. Make sure that you watch for buses, keep a reasonable distance from them and pay particular attention to all of their usage signs and lighting. Connecticut General Statute Section 14-279, provides that “ (a) The operator of any vehicle or motor vehicle, including an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, shall immediately bring such vehicle to a stop not less than ten feet from the front when approaching and not less than ten feet from the rear when overtaking or following any registered school bus on any highway or private road or in any parking area or on any school property when such bus is displaying flashing red signal lights, except at the specific direction of a traffic officer. Vehicles so stopped for a school bus shall not proceed until such school bus no longer displays flashing red signal lights…. At the intersection of two or more highways vehicular turns toward a school bus receiving or discharging passengers are prohibited. The operator of a vehicle upon a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway.
Watch for School Zones
Awareness IS the watchword. Know the school zones on your driving route and pay attention to signs designating school zones. Connecticut General Statute Sec. 14-212b imposes a double penalty for fines for offenses committed in a school zone.
Make Seatbelt Use MandatoryWhen carpooling, make sure that everyone in your vehicle has their seatbelt on before driving.
Be Extra Vigilant When Unloading Your Precious CargoThe school yard parking area is an especially dangerous area. Heavy private auto, school bus and pedestrian traffic make it so. Additionally, many parents are in a hurry to drop their children off and get to work on time. Take the extra time to make sure that your students make it from your vehicle to the school building unharmed. If it means parking your vehicle and escorting them to the entrance, do it. Better safe than sorry.