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AAA says, school’s open — be cautious

As children are beginning a new school year, some are experiencing “firsts” in their young lives. A kindergartener’s first day of school, a young boy or girl walking to school for the first time, a child transitioning from elementary to middle school, or maybe a newly licensed high-school student driving to school.  These first-time experiences can be daunting challenges for children — and parents.

During the summer, we’ve become accustomed to driving on roads without school buses and we’ve all but forgotten about the school bus stops and crossing zones on our daily commutes to and from work. But now, school bus stops and crossing zones are booming with hundreds of kids, and drivers need to pay extra attention over the next few weeks to ensure a safe start to the school year.

Children are at a disadvantage in most cases because they are less visible to motorists.  Children are also less capable than adults of judging where and when it’s safe to cross a street and less likely to fully understand the consequences of their potential misjudgments. Status-tics show that one-fifth of all children age 14 and under who die in motor vehicle crashes are pedestrians. Many of these fatalities are children who ran across the street while not paying attention to oncoming vehicles.

During the months of August and September, AAA Auto Club South will be carrying out its annual “School’s Open — Drive Carefully” educational campaign, and the AAA School Safety Patrol members will be on full alert for dangerous situations. We ask that all drivers be on full alert too.  The best protection to avoid a fatal mistake is for drivers to slow down.  Every mile per hour you reduce your speed allows for greater reaction time.  This could be the difference between life and death for a child who unexpectedly darts across a street. And that child could be yours!

Whether it’s the beginning, middle, or end of the year, always remember, “School’s Open — Drive Carefully.”



Dawn Landrum Wilson

Manager, Traffic Safety

AAA Auto Club South


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