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Back to School Safety in RHE

Post Date:08/30/2018 7:30 PM

Sharpen your pencils and get those notebooks ready, it’s time to head back to school here in Rolling Hills Estates. As our kids trade in their beach towels for backpacks, the City is dedicated to keeping them safe, whether on campus or traveling to and from school. With that goal in mind, the City works closely with schools to help maintain order and welfare during the busy pick up and drop off hours.  

City staff partners with school PTAs and administration to discuss school traffic concerns and seeks way to improve and enhance safety for pedestrians and drivers alike. To assist with traffic flow and pedestrian crossing on a busy road without a traffic signal at the crossing, the City has contracted crossing guards and two traffic control officers dedicated to the Rancho Vista Elementary School site to assist with traffic flow on Palos Verdes Drive North.

Cameron Hall, a recent graduate of California State University, San Marcos, and former Code Compliance Intern with the City of Orange, is now serving as the City’s full-time Code Compliance Officer. In addition to his primary duties of code enforcement and compliance around the city, Cameron will be on Palos Verdes Drive North at Rancho Vista Elementary during weekday afternoons to provide traffic control assistance. He is also certified through the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers.

Cameron is joined by Bob Miller, a current volunteer with the Lomita Sheriff Station and part-time Traffic Control/Code Officer. Bob provided morning traffic control services at Rancho Vista last year, and will continue to do so this year as well.  He is also contracted by the City to serve as a traffic control officer in Academy Hill for Chadwick School. We know our community will welcome both Cameron and Bob with open arms.

Though these new additions to our City are a tremendous help in keeping busy school intersections safe and reducing traffic congestion, we also want to encourage parents and guardians to include transportation safety talks in their family’s back-to-school discussions. To help spur your conversation, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has provided these guidelines for keeping your child and yourself safe when walking, driving, or biking near busy school areas.

With children – especially those who may be traveling to and from school without an adult for the first time – it’s important that they are aware of the rules of the road and know how to look out for others who may be distracted. Even the more seasoned school-travelers could always use a refresher course, so share these guidelines with your family to ensure everyone has a happy and safe back-to-school experience.

RIDING THE BUS

According to the NHTSA, buses are the safest way for children to travel to and from school. But there are still risks when children gather near busy roads. The NHTSA recommends that you teach your child to always play it SAFE:

  • Stay five steps away from the curb.

  • Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.

  • Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.

  • Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.

WALKING

For children walking to school, whether with an adult, on their own, or with friends and siblings, the following tips will help keep them safe from harm’s way:

  • Use walking paths whenever possible, and if there isn’t a walking path, walk on the edge of the street facing traffic.

  • Focus when walking near traffic – this is no time for horseplay.

  • Use crosswalks whenever they are available to cross the street.

  • Look left-right-left before crossing any street.

BIKING

Riding bikes can be a quick and fun way to get to school, especially on some of our city’s idyllic, tree-lined streets. Be sure to do these simple things to keep your bike ride safe:

  • Always wear a properly fitted helmet and securely fasten the chin strap.

  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and follow traffic signs and signals.

  • Stay in the bike lane whenever possible.

  • Use the walking path appropriately and keep an eye out for other pedestrians.

  • Never use electronics while riding – they are distracting.

DRIVING

Many teens begin driving at the start of a new school year. The NHTSA says that teens are the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of a fatal crash. Texting is an especially dangerous habit for teens and adults alike while driving, and in a school zone where there are many hurried pedestrians and cars, it can be even more dangerous. Keep these tips in mind when driving to and from school.

  • Have a safe driver behind the wheel.

  • The car shouldn’t move until everyone is buckled up.

  • Use appropriate car seats and booster seats for younger passengers, and remember: every child under 13 must ride in the back seat—no exceptions.

  • Safe drivers should always practice caution: remember to look left and right before proceeding through an intersection in case someone else is distracted and runs the light.

  • Be patient!

  • Finally, remember that the phone stays down when you’re driving!

For more information from the NHTSA, visit their website.

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