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Houlton Police Department
97 Military Street
Houlton, ME 04730



Back to School Safety Tips

TIPS FOR WALKERS

The Houlton Police Department would like to remind drivers and pedestrians to be extra careful when a new school year starts. We are asking students to be extra cautious when walking to and from school. Here are a few tips:

Pay special attention to all traffic signals and crossing guards.
Never cross the street against a red light, even if you don't see any traffic coming.
Wear reflective clothing and bright colors so drivers can see you easier.
Plan a safe walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and if possible, with intersections that have traffic controls.
Advise children to arrive early for buses, stay out of the street, and to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the street.

BIKING TO SCHOOL


Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
Use appropriate hand signals.
Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
Wear bright colored clothing to increase visibility.

TIPS FOR DRIVERS


Drivers also need to be very aware when school is back in session and children will be walking to and from schools and bus stops. As autumn approaches, there will be less daylight and children will be out early in the morning and more difficult to see.

Be watchful around schools and bus stops for children running into the street.
Watch for children entering the street from behind buses or running to catch the bus.
When driving your children to school, deliver and pick them up as close to the school as possible. Don't leave until they are safely on school grounds.
Drive slowly when approaching children riding bicycles and walking near the street.
Watch your speed when entering school zones.

WHEN RIDING THE SCHOOL BUS

Encourage your children to wear a lap/shoulder seat belt is one if provided on the bus.
Make sure that children know to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching it.
Be sure that your children can visually see the bus driver at all times before moving to board the bus. Reinforce the rule that the school bus driver is in-charge when they are on the school bus. School bus drivers have a tremendous responsibility to ensure that their undivided attention is focused on delivering our children to and from school in the safest way possible. Unruly, noisy or children moving about on the bus only stands to create a distraction for the bus driver that ultimately takes away from their ability to safely and effectively focus on driving.
Ensure that children are not engaging in horseplay or other activities that may subject them to unnecessary hazards associated with vehicular traffic while waiting at bus stops.

The Houlton Police Department wishes everyone a safe school year.