Cumberland Times-News

August 18, 2013

First day

Be on the lookout for kids returning to schools

Cumberland Times-News

— Students will be returning to area schools within the next few days, so motorists will need to be on the lookout for them.

This will be particularly true during the morning and afternoon hours, and to be aware of increasing traffic congestion in and around schools and the neighborhoods in which they are located.

 Students in Hampshire County, W.Va., start today. The first day for Mineral County, W.Va. was Aug. 15. Allegany and Garrett counties start on Aug. 26.

Just as drivers are urged to be alert, parents should tell their children about some safety tips as they head back to school.

Children are unpredictable and not always mindful of traffic safety.

AAA says parents should tell their children to always obey crossing guards, look both ways each time they cross the street, use crosswalks and corners to cross the roads even when cars are not around, not to run or rush, and to remember that motorists can’t always see them.

They also need to know that they are no match for cars, which are are bigger and faster than they are,

For their part, motorists should slow down and obey the speed limits, particularly in school zones and residential neighborhoods, and be prepared to stop quickly for school buses.

The law forbids motorists from driving around stopped school buses, something that has proved fatal for children in our area.

Drivers also should avoid unnecessary distractions. It’s illegal to text or talk on cell phones while driving in Maryland.

If possible, drivers also should modify their routes to avoid school zones altogether.