Are you prepared for back-to-school traffic?

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KBSI) – School safety is not just on the inside of the building but on the outside as well.

Many schools including Jackson and Cape Girardeau Public Schools are starting back to classes this week. That means traffic, school buses, and students walking to school will also return to local streets.

The Carbondale Police Department (CPD) reminds citizens that back-to-school road safety is very important. August is Back-To-School Safety Month. Community Resource Officer Randy Mathis explains how drivers can stay safe.

“Part of this month is about back school safety. Schools are not just for kindergarten, middle school, high school, all those grades but it is also college as well,” explained Mathis. “So, with everybody going back to school that is going to increase traffic on our roadways.”

Household cars are not the only way children travel to school. According to the National Household Travel Survey, more than 50 million children traveled to school and 33.2% of those students rode the bus.

“Buses are going to be part of that extra traffic that’s going to be on the roadway. It’s going to cause extra delays, so we want to make sure that when you see a bus in the area plan on that bus that’s going to be probably likely getting ready to pick up some children or drop off some children so be prepared,” continued Mathis.

As buses become more common, the CPD gave more tips on how to stay safe around buses:

  • Never pass a bus from behind if it is stopped to load or unload children.
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

“We want people to think about this all the time though we encourage motorists at all times to be safe too at all times prepare for that bad thing happen happening,” said Mathis.

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