LANSING - With students across the area heading back to school the next few weeks, the Insurance Alliance of Michigan (IAM) is reminding drivers to obey the traffic laws and be aware of kids in the area.
IAM encourages drivers to stay off their cell phones, watch for children walking and biking to and from school and obey the posted speed limits in school zones.
“Just as our students are getting back into the school routine, so should drivers who may have gotten out of the habit of watching for children at crosswalks, riding bicycles and getting on and off the school bus,” said Tricia Kinley, executive director of the Insurance Alliance of Michigan. “Children don’t always use crosswalks to cross the street, opting to walk between parked cars or stopped traffic instead, which is why it’s critically important to watch for children as they travel to and from school.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 131 people die each year in school transportation related crashes. These accidents are most likely to occur between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., when children are going to school, and 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. when children are going home.
Drivers are also being reminded to watch for stopped school buses.
“When the stop sign is extended and red lights are flashing, drivers should never pass a school bus under any circumstances,” Kinley said. “Instead, drivers should stop at least 20 feet behind the bus and proceed only when the red lights are no longer flashing.”
Passing by a stopped school bus is punishable by a fine ranging from $100 and $500.
Help students have a safe and happy school year by abiding by the law and keeping your eyes on the road.