San Tan Valley Area Information

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Back to School Safety

Back to School Safety

This time of year, may be a relief for parents everywhere, but for many this time of year invokes anxiety and frustration. Increases in local traffic, cross walks delays, and kids along the roads confirms the summers is drawing to a close.

On average 5 teenage pedestrians are killed every week in the United States, a number that is on the rise according to Safe Kids Worldwide. The reason, Distracted walking. 1 in 4 high school students and 1 in 6 middle school students can be observed walking while distracted. Typical distractions include phones or headphone, texting, gaming, or music. The use of such devices drives up the potential for hazardous interactions with drivers. Take note of few safety tips:

  • Heads up phones down. Be aware of your surroundings and never assume the driver of a car will stop or sees you in the roadway.
  • Turn down music or only use 1 earbud. Allow yourself to hear what is going on around you.
  • It’s often easier for a pedestrian to stop than a vehicle, pay attention when approaching and crossing a roadway.

Drivers are just as guilty, when it comes to distractions. The percentage of accidents related to distracted driving is rapidly increasing annually. The following are reminders for drivers in school zones:

  • ARS 28-797, Regulates the speed in a school zone to 15 mph when the area is designated by the appropriate signs. This area is also a NO PASSING ZONE.
  • ARS 28-857, Mandates that a driver STOP on meeting or overtaking a school bus from either direction, when the “STOP” sign and flashing lights are displayed
  • Always use caution when approaching a stopped bus. Even if the lights are not flashing and the sign is not displayed, children can dart out into the roadway unpredictably.
  • Beware of parents dropping children off adjacent to or across from the school. As kids may run out into the roadway.
  • Residential neighborhood speeds are 25 mph unless posted otherwise. However, slowing further when there are kids along the street could save a life.

A few simple changes in behavior and a little precaution will make the kick off of the school year safer and more enjoyable. It is everyone’s responsibility, so do your part!

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