(KLFY)– Louisiana State Police reminds all motorists the importance of safety in and around school zones, while driving near school buses and when transporting a child.
State Police urges everyone to be vigilant and abide by road rules to ensure the safety of all motorists and young students.
School Zone Safety:
Crossing guards have authority to stop traffic or send traffic through intersections for the safety of students, according to Louisiana law. State Police prompts people to be observant of the crossing guards and the posted speed limits in designated school zones and to be prepared for sudden stops and increased pedestrian/vehicle traffic, especially during drop-off and pick-up times.
People are encouraged to be mindful of posted Hands-Free Zones, which ban all drivers, even those over 18, from using a cell phone for calling, texting or social media use.
School Bus Safety:
State Police said when approaching a school bus with flashing red lights, from either direction, traffic must come to a complete stop at least 30 feet away from the bus and remain stopped until the bus’s stop arm is retracted and the bus continues driving.
People should be extra cautious around school buses, as children may enter into the roadway quickly and unexpectedly. Many drivers can be confused when to stop for a bus when traveling in the opposite direction, but a good rule of thumb is always stop unless on a four-lane road with a physical barrier, a raised median, or continuous turn lane.
Car Seat Safety:
Children under the age of 13 ride in the backseat of a vehicle when one is available, according to Louisiana law. For younger children, rear-facing until the age of two and have outgrown the upper limits of the seat by weight or height.
Children that are older and able to face forward must use the internal harness to its upper limits, which on most seats is 65 pounds. If any caregiver is ever unsure about their child’s seat installation, they are urged to contact their local State Police troop office to consult with a certified child passenger safety technician, which is a free service.