With Corporal Melinda Wray,
that time of year again. Backpacks line the front
doors, filled with new binders, pens, and sharpened
pencils. Parents and children alike eagerly wait
for the first bell to sound, signaling the start
of another school year.
Its these traditional beginnings that bring
many new memories, but can also be hazardous to
commuters and school children if simple safety tips
are not practiced.
Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith would like
to remind drivers and pedestrians to be extra careful
when Norfolk Public Schools resume classes on September
8, 2015. The new school year can be a stressful
and exciting time for everyone, but commuting safely
should be at the forefront of our minds, advises
Chief Michael Goldsmith. I encourage our motorists
to remain cognizant of their surroundings and stay
alert in and around our school zones and bus stops.
When a new school year begins, expect increased
congestion throughout the weekdays and plan ahead
to accommodate the traditionally heavy traffic periods.
Motorists should build time into their schedule
as bus stops and school zones lengthen time spent
behind the wheel. Planning ahead for the school-time
commute will undoubtedly save precious minutes,
lower frustration levels, and increase alertness
to improve the safety of yourself and loved ones.
The Norfolk Police Department, along with their
partners in the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA), also remind travelers that
fewer hours of daylight make it harder for motorists
to see pedestrians and children. Nationally, more
schoolaged pedestrians are killed between the hours
of 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. and between 3:00 p.m. -
4:00 p.m. than any other times of the day (NHTSA
Other Back-to-school Safety Tips From the
NHTSA Include the Following:
School Bus: School
buses are the safest mode of transportation for
getting children back and forth to school. Even
so, kids need to be especially careful around the
school bus danger zone - 10 feet in
front, 10 feet behind, and on each side of the bus.
Wait five giant steps from the road and when
the school bus arrives, wait until the driver says
When exiting the bus, look out for cars.
When off the bus, take 5 giant steps from the school
Look left-right-left to make sure no cars
are coming and wait for the driver to signal its
safe to cross.
10-years-old and younger should be accompanied by
an adult or young adult on their way to and from
school. Kids should:
Walk on the sidewalk, and if there is none,
walk facing traffic.
When crossing the street, look left-right-left
for cars. Do not cross if a car is coming and use
a crosswalk if available.
Biking: The two best
protections when biking to and from school are a
properly fitted bicycle helmet and a good grasp
of traffic safety rules. Kids should:
Always wear a helmet and make sure to buckle
the chin strap.
Always ride in the same direction as traffic,
and stop at all stop signs and signals.
Never use headphones or cell phones while
Car: Children should
always ride in the back seat. Children in the front
seat are 40 percent more likely to be injured in
As always, traffic and school zone safety is a high
priority for the Norfolk Police Department. To learn
more about traffic safety issues, please contact
the Crime Prevention Unit at 757-664-6901.