Back to School Pedestrian Safety Tips


With August around the corner, summer is soon coming to a close and back-to-school season will be in full-swing. That means, now is the perfect time to think about pedestrian safety. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, pedestrian accidents are considered the fifth highest cause of injury-related fatalities for children between the ages of 5 to 19. This is a serious concern, particularly as your kids return to school.

At North Shore Fire/Rescue, we care about protecting your children on their daily routes. So we’re offering important safety tips to keep in mind today and throughout the year. By following these simple steps, your kids will be safeguarded from any traffic incidents as they walk or leave the school bus each day.

Making Your Kids Good Pedestrians

Before your kids head to school, teach them to look left, right and then left again prior to crossing the street. By continually checking their environment while walking, they’ll be much safer on the road. Devices or headphones should also be put away at this time to prevent any distractions.

Furthermore, instruct your kids to walk on sidewalks or paths, crossing on street corners with the use of traffic signals and crosswalks.

Drop Off Best Practices

If you drop your kids off in the morning, be aware that each school has its own procedures in place. For this reason, it’s important to know these rules before the first day. The National Safety Council states that children are hit by cars most often near schools. This means it’s even more essential that you pay close attention to the administration’s policies.

Additionally, don’t double park because it reduces visibility for children and for cars driving past. You should also refrain from letting your kids out or into your car from across the street, where there’s a greater risk for an accident. And consider carpooling to keep the number of nearby vehicles to a minimum.

Pedestrian Awareness

While taking your kids to school, it’s critical to be alert to the children who are walking around you. For one, don’t block the crosswalk when you’re stopped at a light. This may seem minor, but if your vehicle is within that designated area, kids may have to go beyond the crosswalk’s perimeters and into moving traffic.

Also, pay close attention to school zones, especially when flashers are blinking. And any time you see a crossing guard with a stop sign, bring your vehicle to an immediate halt. In both instances, children on foot are nearby and deserve your care.

Lastly, whenever you’re in the vicinity of playgrounds, parks or residential areas, drive with greater caution to keep young pedestrians safe.

In Conclusion

As the back to school season gets underway, it’s crucial to have a greater awareness of young pedestrians. Whether your children walk, take the bus or receive rides from you each day, both you and your family need to know how to stay safe. By following NSFR’s tips, every young pedestrian will be better equipped to navigate the streets while traveling to school.