VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., (August 28, 2014) – The day after Labor Day marks the first day of school for most students in Virginia. Tuesday morning there will be school buses, teen drivers and walkers heading for school in addition to the normal traffic and congestion. AAA’s School’s Open – Drive Carefully campaign is held every year during the first few weeks of school to help reduce the number of school-related pedestrian injuries and fatalities. AAA Tidewater provides materials to area schools and businesses as well as placing banners around Hampton Roads to remind motorists to be extra aware of the change in traffic and to watch out for children, especially around school buses.
AAA offers the following advice for motorists:
- When approaching a school bus with flashing signal and an extended stop sign on a public or private road, you must stop and remain stopped until all children are clear of the roadway and the bus moves again.
- You do not have to stop if you are traveling in the opposite direction on roadways separated by a physical barrier or unpaved median area.
- If convicted of passing a school bus that is stopped to load or unload passengers, you can receive a $500 fine and six points on your driving record.
- Watch for children at bus stops and for children walking to and from bus stops.
- Slow down. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
- Eliminate distractions. Children often cross the road unexpectedly and may emerge suddenly between two parked cars.
- Reverse responsibly. Check for children on the sidewalk, driveway and around your vehicle before slowly backing up.
As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 325,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or on Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia