SPARKS, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- The first day of school for Washoe County students is Monday, August 11, and the City of Sparks is urging residents to be prepared and practice caution as students travel to and from school in the coming weeks.
“With a little extra care, residents can help increase the safety of our local children as they head back to school,” said Adam Mayberry, community relations manager for the City of Sparks. “Whether you’re sitting at home, walking around the neighborhood or driving in your car, keep an eye out for these kids and any potential hazards.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Safety Council, more children get hurt walking to or from a school bus than riding inside as passengers. Because of this statistic, one of the most important places to practice caution is behind the steering wheel. Drivers should stay on the lookout and take it slow in school zones, on the streets surrounding schools and any time a school bus is on the road.
“Slow down when you think a school bus may be stopping to load or unload students,” Mayberry said. “You need to be able to stop your car at least 10 feet from the bus for the children to enter or exit safely.”
In fact, it’s against the law for a car to pass a school bus that stops to load or unload children. Bus drivers use yellow flashing lights to warn motorists they are about to pick up or drop off children. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign mean the bus is currently at a stop and children are in the process of getting on or coming off.
Besides using extra caution around school buses, inside school zones, and on the streets surrounding schools, drivers should keep their eyes peeled for children using crosswalks. The National Safety Council warns that motorists should never block or edge into crosswalks with their vehicles, because this can force pedestrians to go around the car and enter a risky situation.
At home, keep yards and sidewalks free of obstacles, be aware of what’s taking place throughout area neighborhoods or around the children you see, and report any unusual activity to police.
According to a spokesperson with the Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez will be touring numerous schools across the district throughout the day. Students at schools in Incline Village will return to class Monday, August 25th.