Can you believe that we are 2 1/2 weeks away from Back to School?  That means back into routines, early bed times, early wake ups, homework, and more.  It also means that around school zones and neighborhoods, we need to start paying attention and being mindful of our environment.  Here are a few back to school safety tips.

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Tips for Driving in School Zones

  • Put away your cell phone. Cell phone use is banned in active school zones, and violators face fines of up to $200 in school zones where signs are posted. Besides it's illegal to use your phone in Amarillo anyway without a hands free device, but in a school zone, you shouldn't be on your phone anyway.
  • Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines usually double in school zones.
  • Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.
  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
  • Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.

Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School

  • Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and then left again before proceeding.
  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Always obey crossing guards.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

Tips for Sharing the Road with School Buses

  • Always stop for flashing red lights on a school bus, regardless of which direction you’re headed.
  • If you are on the other side of a divided highway, you do not have to stop for a bus with flashing red lights, but please still use caution as children are around.
  • School buses stop at all railroad crossings, so be prepared to stop if you are behind a bus.
  • Watch for children who might run across the street as they get on or off the bus.
  • Violations can lead to a $1000 fine