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Be Safe, Now That Children Are – Finally – Back In School

It seems every year we write reminding readers of the importance of being aware and driving carefully as school starts up again. Though there is nothing normal about this year’s return to school, one thing remains the same: It is, as ever, important to remember there are kids headed back to schools again.

Changes make it even more important to be aware constantly, rather than just in the school zones or familiar school-day rhythms with which you are familiar.

That’s even more important in Jamestown, where the city’s elementary schools will double the drop-off and pick-up congestion around with half-days for many younger children. Traffic will be busy around those schools both in the morning and afternoon as well as an additional rush in the noon hour as children attending in the morning leave and children attending in the afternoon are picked up. It’s just one more thing drivers must factor into their routines.

“Just because there isn’t a school bus in one part of your neighborhood doesn’t mean there isn’t going to be another in the next school district,” said J.J. Miller, safety adviser for AAA East Central. “School zone speed limits, crossing guards, and markings on buses are in place to save lives, and need to be followed by motorists.”

Drivers must also use this opportunity to get rid of the distractions we seem to pile on behind the wheel. Anything that takes your eyes off the road (or your hands off the wheel) for even a second can be a danger.

AAA’s Drive Carefully campaign includes these steps: Plan ahead, ditch distractions, stay alert, brake for buses, watch for bikes and look for safety patrollers/crossing guards.

Our kids’ minds are in a million places during this most unusual return to school. They are depending on us to keep them safe. Make sure your mind is right where it should be while driving.

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