Time to practice back-to-school safety | PostIndependent.com

Time to practice back-to-school safety

Sabrina HarrisPost IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox

It’s back-to-school time, and the Glenwood Springs Police Department would like to provide the community with some back-to-school safety tips. Awareness and education can be used as tools to help keep children safe. Chief Terry Wilson said, “School is back in session, and the Glenwood Springs Police Department encourages parents to educate their children about staying safe while traveling to and from school. Drivers are reminded to slow down and to take extra caution while driving around school zones, residential areas, playgrounds and park areas. We all want our local children to have a happy and safe return to school.”Many students walk or ride their bicycle to school. Parents are encouraged to discuss walking and biking safety with their children. Children enjoy walking and riding their bikes to school and are unpredictable in their actions. As a motorist, it is your responsibility to anticipate and prepare to react to what they may do. They will often dash in front of a motor vehicle, thinking cars can stop instantly. Parents need to encourage children to use designated school zones to cross the streets. Motorists should be extra careful around street crossings. These are the most common types of pedestrian crashes. According to a child safety organization, pedestrian injury is the second leading cause of accidental injury-related death among children ages 5-14. Any street crossing can put a pedestrian in the path of a motor vehicle whose driver may not be paying attention or may not have the time to avoid a pedestrian who suddenly steps into their path. If your child walks or rides a bicycle to school, help him or her choose the safest possible route with the fewest street crossings and walk or ride with him or her if possible. 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. Students riding bicycles are reminded to wear helmets.Another important safety tip as the 2010/2011 school year approaches is to learn and obey the school bus laws. School bus drivers use a flashing light system to alert motorists about stopping. Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload children and motorists need to slow down and prepare to stop. Red flashing lights and extended stop arm mean the bus has stopped and children are boarding or exiting the bus. Motorists must come to a complete stop a safe distance from the bus and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the arm is retracted, and the bus begins moving before they start driving again. Drivers who pass school buses while the lights are flashing red will receive a summons to appear in Municipal Court with a fine up to $1,000 and a 6-point penalty on their record.Motorists should know the importance of obeying school speed zones when lights are flashing and watch for children traveling to school. The Glenwood Springs Police Department also wants to remind drivers that designated school zones are in place and posted speed limits in school zones are 20 mph. All fines and penalties are doubled when speeding in a school zone. Drivers are encouraged to adjust their drive times due to the school zones and increased traffic near schools. Parents should ensure their high school drivers leave for school early. “Back to school is a great time to implement safety tips that we should be using all year long,” said Chief Terry Wilson. Back to school means increased school traffic and to watch out for children as they are making their way to school. When you are driving around town, remember two things: Obey speed limits, and watch out for our most precious commodity – our children.

Eighth Street at the Eighth Street bridge will be milled and paved Aug. 27 and 28. Some delays can be expected during this time. Donegan Road: Donegan Road will continue to be closed to through traffic between Vista Drive and Sunny Acres Road. Residents between those closed sections do have access one way in and out. The road should be open to through traffic again by Oct. 1. Martinez Western, Gould Construction and city of Glenwood Springs thank you for your patience.Sabrina Harris is transportation manager for the city of Glenwood Springs.

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