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NEWS | Jan. 5, 2018

Driving smart around school zones

By Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Kinman 802nd Security Forces Squadron

With the second half of the school year resuming for 2018, it is important to remind everyone to drive smart and obey all traffic laws while driving on Joint Base San Antonio, especially around the schools and housing areas. 

Vehicle drivers are required to slow down to the posted speed limit within a school zone. Drivers should be able to stop in time at the posted speed limit if a child should dart out in front of them. 

Drivers are also required to stop on both sides of the road when school bus stop signs are out and red lights are flashing.

Vehicle drivers must be observant and obey all speed limits, traffic signs, crossing guards, and other signals including those on school transport vehicles to promote safety within a school or child safety zone. 

Some common violations and fee’s encountered by military law enforcement regarding pedestrian and school zone safety ranges from utilizing a cell phone in a school crossing zone:  $50 fine for civilian, three driving points for military — to  passing a stopped school bus: up to $2,000 on a second offense for civilian, four driving points for military.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between the years 2004 and 2013, nine bicyclists and over116 pedestrians were killed while traveling on their way to school. There were more school-age pedestrians killed between the hours of 7 and 8 a.m. and between 3 and 4 p.m. than any other hours of the day. 

To further enhance school transportation safety, the NHTSA offers the following traffic tips for everyone (motorists, children and their parents):

Walking to school is safer when children:

•             Walk with an adult, responsible older sibling or in a group.

•             Walk focused and alert. Never use electronics when crossing the street.

•             Pay attention to their surroundings and don’t play with, push or shove others.

•             Cross at a corner, in a crosswalk, or with a pedestrian WALK signal.

•             Stop and look left-right-left for all traffic, including bicycles, before crossing. Cross only when it is clear.

•             Wear bright colors and/or use lights or reflective gear to be more visible to motorists.

 Biking to and from school is safer when children and adults alike:

•             Wear and buckle a properly fit helmet every ride.

•             Wear bright colors and/or use lights or reflective wear to be more visible to motorists.

•             Ride focused and alert—never using electronics or both ear buds while riding.

Be smart for 2018 and drive safe.