Getting to School Safely
Learn the basics of safe walking, bicycling, and riding in an automobile to school. Discover the importance of using crosswalks, obeying the crossing guard, not accepting rides from strangers, waiting for green lights, wearing a bicycle helmet, wearing a seat belt, not running across the street to get into the car, and much more.
Learn the rules for getting to school safely when you're walking, biking or driving.
- Students will know the rules for walking to school.
- Check Conditions — Before students leave for school, they should check the weather and lighting conditions outside. If it is raining or it is dark outside, students should ask their parents to drive them to school. Bad weather and lack of sunlight can make it difficult for those driving cars to see the students.
- Wear Proper Clothing — Students should wear clothing that is bright, so drivers can see them easily.
- Don't Rush — Students should not run to school; they might trip and fall.
- Stay On the Sidewalks — Students should walk on the sidewalks not on the roads. If no sidewalks are present, students should walk along the side of the road away from the cars.
- Face the Traffic — Students must remember to walk toward on-coming cars; it is easier for drivers to see them.
- Be Careful Around Driveways — When students come across a driveway, they should be cognizant of the fact that a car might back out of it, and the driver may not see them walking behind the car. If a car is backing out, students should wait until the car backs up and drives away before crossing the driveway.
- Use the Crosswalk and Signals — Students should always cross the street at a crosswalk if one is present; they should never cross in the middle of the street. If the crosswalk has a signal, students should wait until it indicates that it is safe to cross. Then, before stepping into the crosswalk, students should listen for cars and then look to the left, the right, and again to the left; this allows students to check for cars that might enter the crosswalk. Students may then carefully cross the street. Students should not run in the crosswalk, even if the signal on the light changes. If no crosswalk or signal is present, students may still cross at the corner. When they have looked left, right, and left again and no cars are coming, it is safe to cross. If a car is approaching, students should let the car go by or make sure it stops for them. If the car stops, students should make eye contact with the driver to make sure he/she sees them; students may then cross.
- Students will know the rules for riding a bike to school.
- Wear a Helmet That Fits — Students must wear a helmet that is not so big that it will come loose if they fall. A properly worn helmet should sit between the ears; it should sit low in the front; and it should be snug.
- Wear Bright Colors — This allows drivers to see the students easily.
- The Bike Should Fit — If a student sits on the seat, places his/her toes on the ground, and the bicycle stands up straight, then the bike fits.
- Check the Bike For Safety — Do the brakes work? Are the tires worn out? Are the tires inflated? Is there a white reflector in the front along with a red reflector in the back? Are there reflectors in the spokes and in the pedals? Students should be able to answer 'yes' to all of these questions.
- Ride in the Same Direction as the Traffic
- Cross the Street the Same as Walkers — When crossing the street bikers should ride to the crosswalk or street corner, get off the bike and walk with the bike across the street (Remember to follow the procedure in #1g). When the students have successfully crossed the street, they may get back on their bikes and ride when it is safe.
- Students will know the rules for riding in the car.
- Stay on the Sidewalks While Waiting — Students should not walk through the parking lot. Also, students should enter and exit the car through the side next to the sidewalk.
- Always Wear a Safety-Belt & Wear it Properly — One's lap belt should fit low and snug, so it touches the tops of the legs. The shoulder belt should go over the student's shoulder and be snug across the chest. In addition, there should be one seatbelt per person.
- Students will understand that it is not safe to go anywhere with strangers even if the stranger knows the student's name. A student who encounters a problem with a stranger should run away!
- Safety Signs: After watching the video, have students create their own safety signs and post them around the classroom. Some ideas: Post a stop sign or stoplight at the classroom door; a yield sign near the intersections in the classroom, orange cones near the drinking fountain.
- Safety Course: Using some of the signs your students created, and others from the school or community, role-play safety on an obstacle course in your school gym or playground. Have students practice putting on bicycle safety gear and using crosswalks and signals appropriately.