SAUGUS — With backpacks ready and students heading back to school soon, Saugus Police Chief Domenic DiMella is reminding residents and those passing through town to be mindful of safety.
The Saugus Public Schools open for all students on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
“Drivers need to remain vigilant as students return to school, and maintain heightened awareness in school zones, as well as near bus stops and crosswalks,” said DiMella.
“Parents should stress the importance of safely walking along busy roads with their children, emphasizing the need to remain alert and off their phones while crossing the street or exiting the bus.”
Because students are often on their phones texting, browsing the internet or playing games, DiMella recommends that parents talk to their children about following safety tips provided by the National Safety Council (NSC) when headed to and from school:
Never walk while texting. If you need to respond to a text, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk.
Never cross the street while using an electronic device.
Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street.
Cross only at crosswalks.
Drivers should be on increased alert when traveling through school zones and should never text and drive.
Additionally, the NSC reminds operators to stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection, always stop for a crossing guard holding up a stop sign, to take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas, and not to honk or rev their engines to scare a pedestrian, even if they have the right of way.
Motorists should also never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
To best ensure that children who travel to school by bus get there safely, Saugus Police advise that students follow these tips from the council:
When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness. Students should line up away from the street as the bus approaches and wait until the bus has stopped and the doors open before approaching.
While on the bus, students should wear seatbelts when they are available. They should not put their head, arms, or hands out the window, and should wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from their seats.
When students need to cross the street, they should walk at least 10 feet ahead of the bus until they can see the driver and make sure the driver can see them too.
Students should wait for a signal from the driver before crossing. When the driver signals, they should look left, right, then left again. When walking across the road, students should keep an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
If their vision is blocked, they should move to an area where they can see and be seen by other drivers.