BEDFORD -- As the start of the school year approaches, Chief Robert Bongiorno and the Bedford Police Department would like to offer road safety tips for motorists, children, parents and guardians.
"As kids head back to class, school buses will be on the roads again and children will be waiting at bus stops to be picked up," said Traffic Enforcement Officer Thomas Devine. "There will also be children and teens walking and biking to school in the mornings and afternoons. This means drivers need to be more vigilant than ever. Watch out for kids on the roads, slow down, and never, ever use your cell phone while driving."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has several tips for motorists as the school year begins:
- Look for children walking or bicycling when backing out of a driveway or garage.
- Be vigilant and watch for children who may be walking or bicycling to school in neighborhoods with school zones.
- Watch out for children who may be crossing the street.
- Be mindful of children who may be standing in a group or playing near a bus stop.
- Slow down.
- Remember: yellow flashing lights signify that a bus is slowing down to either pick up or drop off children. Prepare to stop your vehicle.
- Remember: red flashing lights and extended stop arms signify that a bus has stopped to pick up or drop off children. Drivers traveling in both directions are required to stop their vehicles and wait until the lights stop flashing, the extended stop arm is withdrawn and the bus continues driving.
The Bedford Police Department also wishes to remind drivers to stay off of all electronic devices while driving, as even a moment of distraction can cause a deadly accident. Drivers are also reminded to keep the windows of their vehicle clean and clear.
The NHTSA also has several tips for children and parents at bus stops:
- Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early, and wait approximately six feet away from the curb.
- Do not allow children to run or play at a bus stop.
- Wait until the bus stops completely, the door opens and the driver says it is safe to board the bus before getting on.
- Use the handrails on the bus while boarding.
- Do not walk behind a school bus.
- If a child drops an item near a school bus, he or she should first tell the bus driver about the dropped item.
- If a child needs to cross the street to board the bus, he or she should make eye contact with the driver, use the sidewalk until crossing, and walk approximately 10 feet in front of the bus.
Anyone with questions about road safety is encouraged to contact Bedford Police Department Traffic Enforcement Officer Thomas Devine at 781-275-1212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.