Summer vacation is officially over and that means, school buses, new teen drivers and other young travelers have once again joined Wentzville’s morning traffic commute.
Although many motorists are focused on getting to school or work on time, I encourage everyone to make safety your top priority. Leave in plenty of time to get to your destination, so that you don’t have to rush. Below are a few back-to-school safety tips for drivers.
When dropping off students, don’t park alongside another parked vehicle ― this blocks visibility for other children and vehicles. Never load or unload children across the street from their school; and, if possible, carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.
Remember, you are sharing the road with young pedestrians. You should never block crosswalks when stopped at red lights or while waiting to make a turn. This can force pedestrians to walk around the vehicle and enter the path of traffic. Remember to always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections, especially when flashers are blinking in a school zone. Always stop for crossing guards and patrol officers, and never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
Don’t forget you’re once again sharing the road with school buses, too! Never pass a bus if it’s stopped to load or unload children; if the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop. The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; so, stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus. Also, allow for a greater following distance behind a bus than if you were driving behind a car.
With school in session again, more bicyclists will also be on your commute. When passing a bicyclist, proceed slowly and leave three feet between your car and the cyclist. When turning left and if a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass. Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this. In addition, watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars, and check side mirrors before opening your door.
The new school year also means new teenage drivers. Teen drivers should take the following precautions. First, make sure you and all passengers are wearing seat belts, also remember to obey all speed limits, and don’t make assumptions about what other drivers, cyclists or pedestrians are going to do. Always watch for kids getting on and off school buses. It is highly recommended that you don’t use a cell phone while driving, especially in or near school zones.
If we all remember to travel with caution and care, everyone will be able to reach their destinations safely. Thank you for making Wentzville a safe place to live, work and play!
Thank You, Dr. Cain!
Speaking of school, I’d like to provide some special recognition to Dr. Curtis Cain, Wentzville School District’s Superintendent. While the school district has grown more than any other district in Missouri, Dr. Cain has proven to be a phenomenal leader for this community. He has gracefully managed and supported the rapid growth, while providing exemplary administration to the Wentzville School District. We are very fortunate to have Dr. Cain’s leadership and vision representing our growing community!