HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – With the start of the school year, there is an increase in student pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Pedestrian-vehicle injuries are the 5th leading cause of death among students aged 5-19.
The excitement of back to school can distract students from the most basic safety rules. This is why the Virginia Youth Speak Out (YOVASO) on Road Safety the organization works to be the reminder.
Molly Jackson with YOYASO wants to lower numbers statewide by helping students and drivers remember key safety rules.
“When you walk around the school bus, make sure you not only see the bus driver, but also that the bus driver can see you. To be fowarding something. Make sure to put that phone down. Go to well-lit, designated crosswalks and sidewalks, and look at your surroundings,” Jackson said. “If you walk, remember that the days are getting shorter. If you’re walking, cycling or waiting on a bus, wear bright colors so we can see you as motorists.
Students can study the basics throughout the year, but it only helps if drivers do their part as well, especially around school buses.
“If you see the flashing lights, even the yellow lights, please stop. You know, often students are unpredictable. They can ignore the surroundings and ignore the dangers. Make sure you as the driver stay far enough away from them because these kids are either excited to get off the bus or get on the bus then they might start running. You never know what the students will do,” Jackson said.
She encourages parents to take the time to talk to their students about these safety measures and hopes that adults will live up to the rules of the road this new school year.