School's Back In Los Angeles!

School's Back In Los Angeles!

It’s back-to-school this week for LA Unified.

That means more traffic, school buses on the road, and children walking or riding their bikes to school.  It also means more distractions, so now’s a great time for drivers and parents to do a quick review of general safety tips, courtesy of the Rabbi Lawyer.

Tips For Drivers

– Put down your phone.  In fact, keep it out of reach.

– Plan your route ahead of time so you’re not rushing.

– Give yourself extra time to get your kids to school before the bell rings.  That might mean waking the kiddos up a little earlier if necessary.  And If you’re running late, take a deep breath, but don’t vent your frustration on the gas pedal.  The residential street adjacent to your child’s school is not a racetrack, so please don’t treat it like one.

– Shortcuts, such as alleys, are not racetracks either.  Be extra cautious when exiting the alley.

– Follow the posted speed limit in the school zone.  

– Watch for children who may be jaywalking near the school campus.  Just because they may be jaywalking doesn’t give you a license to drive unsafely.

– Obey the crossing guards’ instructions.

– Always stop for a school bus dropping off children.  Those stop signs on the side of the bus are treated the same as a regular stop sign.  Even if you see a bus beginning to move on from the stop, do not attempt to pass it.

Tips For the Carpool Line

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least include a few courtesy tips for my many clients whose children attend yeshivas and participate in some form of carpool.

– Put down your phone.  In fact, keep it out of reach.  (Notice a trend here?!)

– If picking up or dropping off your children, do not park illegally.  It can cause a domino effect of traffic hazards, and it’s just plain discourteous!

–  Do not block entrances or exits.

– Do not blare your horn!  You may have successfully loaded your children in your car, but there are 4 cars ahead of you who haven’t yet.  Honking is not going to make them fulfill their objective any faster.

– Once your children are safely in your car, please end the conversation with the mom in front of you so the cars behind you can retrieve their passengers.

– Be extra vigilant, as children may dart out from in-between cars waiting in the carpool line.

– Make sure your kids are actually sitting with their seat belts fastened before you begin driving.

Tips For Children

Parents should remind their children of some of the following basic safety rules.

– Cross only at intersections.  Do not jaywalk.

– Do not ever run out into the street.  Not even for your skateboard or basketball.

– Follow the crossing guards’ instructions.

– If exiting the bus to cross to the other side of the street, do so in-front of the bus where the driver can see you, not behind it.

– If riding a bicycle or scooter to school, always wear a helmet.  It’s the law, and it saves lives.

– You can read more about riding a bicycle on the sidewalk here.

In conclusion, remember that whether you’re driving or waiting in the carpool line, put down your phone!  We don’t want any more statistics!

Wishing all a wonderfully successful school year!  For questions about your case, your Rabbi Lawyer is always here to assist.