School’s Open-Drive Carefully Campaign

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Port Washington Police District and AAA Northeast help launch a campaign to remind drivers to be careful

Students practicing bus safety. (Photos from the Port Washington School District)

In anticipation of the start of the new school year, the Port Washington Police and AAA Northeast have launched its annual School’s Open–Drive Carefully Campaign, reminding drivers to be extra careful behind the wheel as children end their summer vacations and head back to school.
“Very soon, thousands of children will be walking to and from school and school buses, many for the first time,” said Police Chief Del Muro. “Everyone who drives has a responsibility to be especially careful during this busy time for school children.”
Children tend to be at greater risk during the back-to-school period because they are thinking more about seeing old friends, new teachers and their new school day, rather than watching for traffic.
Drivers should be aware that school traffic can begin as early as 7 a.m. and go through the late afternoon as late as 6 p.m. with after-school activities. Children may be walking to school, driven by a parent, or even driving themselves to high school. To help protect our school children, Chief Del Muro offered these tips from AAA Northeast:
For drivers:
• Keep speeds at or below posted limits, especially near school zones.
• Slow down and be prepared to stop for school buses with flashing red lights, even on divided roadways, as required by New York State law.
• If driving children to school, know and follow the school’s protocols for drop-off and pick-up.
• Be especially alert in poor weather.
For walkers:
• Children younger than 10 should walk with an adult.
• Stick to the sidewalk or as close to the left side of the road as possible if there is no sidewalk.
• Look all ways before crossing streets as well as crossing over driveways.
• Cross at corners or intersections, obeying traffic signals and school crossing guards.
• Pay attention to vehicle traffic, as drivers may not be paying attention as they should.
• Be especially alert in poor weather.
AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit auto club with 70 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York, providing more than 6 million local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services.
—Submitted by the
Port Washington Police Department

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