Back to School: Crossing Lane Safety and School Bus Drop-Off Safety

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 23, 2019) – With kids headed back to school, AAA Carolinas is urging motorists to pay special attention to crossing zones and school buses shuttling children to and from school.

In an effort to prevent tragedies at bus stops and crossing zones, AAA Carolinas partners with schools across the Carolinas to educate and equip students to be school safety patrollers. The school will select students to participate in the program, and AAA Carolinas will then provide them with the proper safety gear and learning materials to help their fellow students get to school safely.

The AAA School Safety Patrol Program has helped communities improve school safety for 99 years. It relies on student volunteers to assist their classmates at crossings, carpool drop-off areas and bus loading and unloading zones.

The largest safety program in the world, the AAA School Safety Patrol Program has 654,000 Patrollers in 34,500 schools nationwide. The program has been praised by education and safety groups around the world for reducing injuries and fatalities among school children.

The afternoon hours are most dangerous for walking children. Over the last decade, nearly one-third of child pedestrian fatalities have occurred after school hours between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Approximately 815 students die annually and more than 150,000 are injured during travel between school and home –statistics that do not include special activity trips and other school related journeys.

“We all need to be extra vigilant during the school year on the roads, especially around school zones,” said Tiffany Wright, President of AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Be alert and don’t drive distracted, as there is a greater chance of children crossing streets as they get off their buses.”

Students going back to school brings school buses back on the roads. On average, there are nearly 3,000 incidents of cars passing stopped school buses every day in North Carolina, according to the NCDOT.

Below is a quick refresher of school bus laws for motorists before school starts back:

  •  On a two-lane road, all traffic from both directions must stop.
  •  On a two-lane road with a center turning lane, all traffic must come to a stop.
  •  When on a four-lane road without a median, traffic from both directions must stop.
  •  In the case of a divided highway with four or more lanes, only traffic following the school bus needs to stop.
  •  When on a road with four lanes or more with a center turning lane, just traffic following the bus must stop.
If your child will be walking or biking to school, AAA urges parents and caregivers to discuss the following five safety tips with them:
  •  Be alert: Look left, right and left again, before crossing the street. Children should also be advised to avoid distractions and watch for potential road hazards.
  •  Take heed: Always stop when directed to do so by a school patrol sign, school patrol officer or crossing guard.
  •  Wear a helmet: Kids who bicycle should always wear a helmet. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent.
  •  Phone a friend: Have kids walk to school with a relative, friend or neighbor.
  •  Walk with caution: Walk only on the sidewalk, and cross the street only at crosswalks. Avoid walking in front of, behind or between parked cars. Remind children that even though they can see a vehicle, doesn’t mean that vehicle can see them. Stress the importance of avoiding walking while using mobile devices. This behavior is a distraction and can impair judgement.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.2 million member and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.
For more information on this press release, please contact:

Public Relations Manager
Tiffany Wright
tmwright@aaacarolinas.com
Work : 704-737-8306
Cell : 704-569-7768