The Safety Council is Reminding Drivers About School Safety

By Bridget Blevins |

Published 08/12 2014 05:33PM

Updated 08/12 2014 05:48PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) As kids head back to class, we're reminded to keep an eye out for increased foot traffic near schools.  The streets around St. Joseph's Central High School are calm now, but soon they'll be bustling with activity.

"They'll race around the parking lot and over the curb and drive out of the parking lot that way," said St. Joseph Resident Linda Peterson.

Linda Peterson lives near the school and knows how busy school zones can be when classes resume...

"I just hope the kids have a safe school year and that the parents watch out for their kids - not only the ones in the cars, but the ones that play in this area and they just run across the street without being watched.  I just want them to be safe," said Peterson.

Peterson isn't alone in that wish.  Safety experts are reminding drivers to be alert near school zones, playgrounds and bike paths.

"We've had our summer, we've enjoyed it with our families.  We're not used to kids being around the schools in the summer and seeing kids on the sidewalk in the morning as we go to work," said Sheldon Lyon of the St. Joseph Safety Council.

Sheldon Lyon with the St. Joseph Safety Council says while a new school year brings changes for kids, it also brings changes for drivers.

"We're going to have new school zones where we're going to have reduced speed limits that they're mabye not used to.  We're going to have young children walking to school that have never done that before," said Lyon.

Last year, the highway patrol says most traffic crashes involving young drivers happened between 3 PM and 4 PM when school lets out.  Another reason - Lyon says - it's a must to focus on your surroundings at all times.

"It's very important that they pay attention to the task at hand - that's driving.  Put down their cell phones - anything that might distract them," said Lyon.

He says doing so could avoid serious injury or a tragic accident.

"These children are the precious things we have.  Whenever they load and unload the bus, we need to be very careful around these areas to make sure we don't have an incident with a child," said Lyon.

The highway patrol also reminds drivers to watch for warning signals while buses are loading and unloading.  Sometimes the kids can't see you as they're getting off the bus.

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