As students and teachers ready for a new academic year the Las Cruces Police Department is reminding motorists to be on the lookout for more young pedestrians and bicyclists, and to be particularly cautious when traveling through school zones or near bus stops.
The basic back-to-school safety tips for drivers include:
• Obey all traffic laws and speed limits, especially the 15 MPH limit in school zones.
• Stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children.
• Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.
• Be alert and watch for children near schools, bus stops and in school parking lots.
• Do not pass other vehicles in school zones or at crosswalks.
• Do not change lanes in school zones.
• Do not make U-Turns in school zones.
• Do not text or otherwise use a cell phone unless it is completely hands-free.
• Unless licensed to do so, do not use handicap or emergency vehicle lanes or spaces to drop off or pick up children at school.
LCPD also offers these safety tips for students:
• Parents of younger students who ride a school bus should consider escorting their children to and from their scheduled bus stop.
• Children should not stand or play in the roadway while waiting for, or leaving, a school bus.
• Students who ride the bus should follow all safety rules and avoid distracting the driver.
• Students who walk should do so in pairs, or groups, and follow safety rules for pedestrians.
• Cross streets only at crosswalks and follow the directions given by school crossing guards.
• Students who ride a bike should wear a helmet and follow all safety rules for bicyclists.
• Walk – don’t ride – a bicycle across streets and only in designated crosswalks.
• Students who drive to school should avoid speeding and minimize distractions from cell phone usage, eating, loud music or disruptive passengers.
• Never overload a vehicle. Every passenger must use a safety belt.
• Always act as a positive role model for younger siblings and fellow students. Avoid horseplay on sidewalks, while riding a bus or bicycle, and while traveling in a vehicle.