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Back to school safety tips for drivers and pedestrians

As the summer draws to a close, kids throughout Tennessee are getting ready to head back to school. While a new school year presents children with new opportunities and excitement, it also presents several dangers, especially when traveling to and from school. Since 2000, there have been 130 school transportation-related fatalities in Tennessee directly related to bus and car accidents.

With back to school time quickly approaching, the Tennessee Highway Patrol is urging motorist to exercise extra caution when driving in school zones. Last year, police issued more than 3,800 traffic citations across Tennessee for violations occurring within school zones. Of these, nearly 800 were related to speeding violations.

Not only do motorist need to be extra vigilant and slow down in school and pedestrian zones, but kids also need to be careful and make sure they obey traffic and safety rules. A large percentage of accidents and fatalities involving school-age children occur as a result of a child being struck by a bus or car.

Parents, therefore, would be wise to review safety rules with their children. These include encouraging children to always look both ways before crossing the street and to use crosswalks when possible.

Likewise, parents should take measures to reduce distractions while transporting their children to and from school. A large number of traffic accidents occur while a parent is transporting children before and after school and many of these could be avoided through increased attention to, and implementation of, safe driving practices.

Source: Tennessee Highway Patrol, "Tennessee Highway Patrol Encourages Back to School Safety," Aug. 2, 2012

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