School traffic safety

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Colorado’s roads are getting more crowded now, especially now that schools are back to in-person learning. Nearly all schools across our state are back in session, hundreds of thousands of students and teachers are back on the road. That means drivers need to slow down, eliminate distractions and obey those traffic laws when passing bus stops and driving through neighborhoods and school zones.

Cassie Tanner Deputy Director, Public Affairs with AAA Colorado shares what drivers should expect now that school is back to in-person learning.

According to a recent AAA survey of Coloradans

53% drive through a school zone on their daily commute or driving route. 

Despite that, Coloradans also admit to doing one of the following risky behaviors at least once in the past three months: 

38% admit to exceeding the speed limit while driving in active school zones.
30% admit to using their hand-held cell phone while driving in active school zones.

When driving through a school zone, lower your speed and increase your awareness to ensure you can respond to any potential hazards on the roadway.

According to a recent AAA survey of Coloradans

 43% encounter school bus stops during their daily commute or regular driving route. 

20% admit to driving around a school bus while its red lights are flashing.
22% admit to cutting off a school bus because it’s driving too slow.

Under Colorado law, you must stop your vehicle at least 20 feet before reaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing whether it is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road, or at an intersection you are approaching. You must remain stopped until the flashing red lights are no longer operating. Watch carefully for children near the school bus and children crossing the roadway before proceeding.

AAA – The Auto Club Group, through their School’s Open Drive Carefully campaign, are reminding motorists to:

Slow down . Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.

Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.

Eliminate distractions . Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. Children can move quickly, and commonly cross the road unexpectedly or emerge suddenly between two parked cars. Reduce risk by avoiding distractions such as using your cell phone or eating while driving.

Share the road . Children on bicycles are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that he or she wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride. Find videos, expert advice and safety tips at ShareTheRoad.AAA.com.

Talk to your teen . Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com.


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