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crossing-guardNow that school is back in session, many drivers have noticed changes to their commute. Has your drive into work become more congested with additional cars and pedestrians?  Some of these pedestrians are crossing guards, helping local children arrive to school safely.   Did you know that in the past nine years, three Massachusetts crossing guards have been killed when struck by vehicles?

With the school year starting, now’s a great time to review three steps that each of us can take to keep our commute – and our crossing guards – safe.

Give yourself a little extra time. Remember, with schools back in session there’s just more car and pedestrian traffic out and about. Leave a little extra time so you can get to your destination on time – and more important, safely.”

school-zone-signSlow down in school zones and stop at crosswalks. Make sure you look out for signage announcing a school zone. Not only does the speed limit change to 20 miles an hour, but at certain hours, some streets become one-way. This can be confusing if you have been driving down the same street all summer, when school’s not in session. Also, remember it’s Massachusetts law that you must stop your car when pedestrians are about to enter or are walking within a crosswalk.

Look for reflective vests and STOP paddles – surefire signs of a crossing guard. Always yield to ensure the safety of any crossing guard on duty and the children they’re assisting. It is important to remember that distracted driving is a huge risk, so keep your eyes on the road.

The good news is that so many driving hazards are preventable. Adding more time to your commute, being aware of school zones, and recognizing the presence of crossing guards and pedestrians are surefire ways to keep everyone safe. And don’t forget – what’s good for the morning is good for the afternoon, when the school day ends.

Feel free to share this post on your social media to see what other tips your friends have.

Written By:


Health Communicator and Outreach Specialist in the Occupational Health Surveillance Program

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