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Back to school time means new safety tips for kids and parents

Elkhart Community Schools head back to school on Thursday, and all most parents want, is for their kids to have a happy and safe school year. While it is an exciting time, it is also an important time to remind kids of safe transportation habits. 

The National Safe Routes to School Program says that more kids are hit by cars near schools, than at any other location. 

Most kids head to school by bus, drop-off, and walking, and there are safety tips for each mode of transportation.

If you drive your kid to school, make sure to stay extra aware of your surroundings.  Schools often have reduced speed zones to keep both pedestrians and other drivers safe.  Pay attention to crossing guards that schools may have, as they rely on you to follow their directions to avoid any problems or accidents.  It is also important to always yield to pedestrians walking.  

And if you walk your kids to school, or they walk alone, make sure to stay in the cross walk and wear bright clothing when it is dark out, so that drivers can see you. 

For parents who have kids who take the bus, it is important to remember that the ten foot area surrounding the bus, is considered the most dangerous for kids.  Vehicles must keep enough distance to allow children to safely enter and exit the bus.

It is Indiana state law that requires drivers to stop, on both sides of the street, when the school bus is picking up or dropping off kids.  If the stop arm is extended out and the lights are flashing, you are to stop driving and proceed with caution. 

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