TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – Thousands of students will be heading back to school next week. While parents are busy getting their kids ready for the first day of classes, law enforcement has some tips to keep their children safe.
Before kids step foot into the classroom, parents should arm them with information that will keep them safe this school year.
Det. Scott Lloyd with Unified Police Department oversees the Taylorsville area schools. He is ramping up security for the back to school rush next week. He says parents need to give children a crash course on the rules of the road if they’re going to walk to and from school, walk with friends or use the crosswalk.
Lloyd added kids need to pay attention while crossing the road know who they should and should not talk to.
“If someone says, ‘hey, I want to give you a ride and my mom says you can give us a ride or go here to the school with you,’ don’t take those rides. Talk to your parents,” Lloyd recommended.
Parents who are uncomfortable letting their child walk alone have started using the Walking School Bus app. They sign their child up to walk with a group of kids, led by an adult.
Parent Darci Hall uses the app.
“It gets groups together, encourages people to walk and for them to feel like their kids are safe walking to school,” said Hall, who has a Salt Lake City elementary school student.
The Utah Department of Transportation rolled out the program last year, and parents from all over the state formed more than 500 groups.
For students who are riding the bus this school year, many will be using it for the first time.
Lloyd suggests parents get to know the bus route. If children are anxious about the bus, Lloyd said, to drive the route.
If parents can’t wait with their children at the bus stop, go over ground rules.
Lloyd said children need to stand at least six feet away from the curb. When they exit, make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing the street to make sure the driver sees you.
Drivers will have to get used to seeing more kids on the road during their morning commute. The speed limit in school zones is 20 mph. Police will be issuing warnings the first couple of weeks, but after that, they will write tickets.
One other thing to note is when dropping off students at school entrances, don’t park in red curb areas or next to the sidewalk or crosswalk. Police worry that other cars may not see kids stepping out into the traffic. They encourage parents to park in designated areas to avoid any accidents.