ConnDOT: Safe Routes "Back to School"
2011

CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
NEWS RELEASE
 
2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546
NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT, 06131-7456
 
FOR RELEASE: August 26, 2011
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065
WEB SITE: www.ct.gov/dot 

Safe Routes "Back to School"
 
 
As Connecticut’s children head back to school this week and in the coming weeks, the Connecticut Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to take extra precaution when travelling in school zones.

When schools are in session, many children will be walking or riding their bicycles to and from school – many of them during the busiest time of the day when motorist are travelling to work or home after a tiring day.

The Department’s Safe Routes To School Program is offering the following tips:

Reminders for Motorists:
  • Slow down. Observe the speed limit in school zones at all times.
  • Be especially careful when driving on neighborhood streets and around school zones. Always expect the unexpected.
  • Be alert for children walking and biking as you back out of your driveway or leave your garage.
  • Watch for children on bicycles, especially at intersections.
  • Drivers (including teens) should avoid speeding and distractions while driving, such as texting, talking on cell phones, eating and adjusting the radio.
  • Stop your car when you see lights flashing on a school bus. Red flashing lights indicate that the bus is stopped and students are getting on or off. Don't start driving until the red lights stop flashing. Be aware that a child may dash across the street.
 

Safety Tips for Pedestrians:
  • Always walk on the sidewalk.  If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk in the road, ALWAYS WALK FACING TRAFFIC. 
  • Wear bright colored clothing to increase visibility.
  • Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
  • Walk in groups, there is safety in numbers. Groups are more likely to be seen by drivers. In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.
  • Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
  • Before crossing the street, STOP AND LOOK LEFT, THEN RIGHT, THEN LEFT AGAIN.
  • If you see a car, wait until it goes by.  Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming.
  • Do not text or talk on cell phones while walking and/or crossing street.

Safety Tips for Bicyclist:
  • Wear a helmet.
  • Be sure to have reflectors on your pedals, frame, and wheels.
  • Wear bright colored clothing to increase visibility.
  • Be Seen – Be Aware – Be Predictable.
  • Secure flashing light to rear of bicycle to increase visibility.
  • Do not text or talk on cell phone while biking.
  • Follow the Rules of the Road - RIDE ON THE RIGHT, WITH THE TRAFFIC, in single file. Obey stop signs and traffic lights. Never cross a street without looking for cars. Give the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks.

Let’s all keep safety as top priority to provide a safe and promising school year for our children!
Information on Connecticut Safe Routes to School Program is available on www.ctsaferoutes.org.
SAVE THE DATE!

 Wednesday, October 5, 2011 is International Walk to School Day.  Register and learn more about how to get started by visiting – www.walktoschool.org .