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News

Mt. Diablo Unified School District Back-to-School Safety Reminders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 6, 2018

Contact:  Ursula Kroemer Leimbach / communications@mdusd.org / Mobile: (760) 705-6919                 

 

Mt. Diablo Unified School District Back-to-School Safety Reminders

 

CONCORD - With the new school year beginning on Thursday, August 16, it is important for students, parents and the public to remember to exercise additional caution on or around school campuses.  As experts point out, school safety begins before students arrive at schools, and it doesn’t end until they arrive safely back home. To ensure optimal safety for all students, the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) would like to offer these back-to-school safety guidelines. 

 

Walking to School

While going on foot to school can offer some real health benefits, safety should be the top priority for anyone walking to school.  Follow these steps to plan a safe route to school.

 

Find the safest route to school by looking for:

  • Places to walk or bicycle that are separated from traffic
    • Choose sidewalks or paths wherever possible, even if that means the trip will take a little longer.
    • If there are no sidewalks or paths, walk as far from motor vehicles as possible, on the side of the street facing traffic.
  • Places to cross (if necessary).
    • Minimize the number of street crossings.
    • Avoid busy, high-speed or multi-lane roads, wherever possible.
    • When available, cross at a location with an adult school crossing guard.
  • Pedestrian- and bike-friendly drivers
    • Look for places where drivers are paying attention, yielding to pedestrians and cyclists and respecting speed limits.
  • A comfortable feeling
    • Use a route that avoids potential problems like loose dogs, the presence of criminal activity, vacant buildings or poorly lit streets.

To avoid injury:
•    Never let children under age 10 cross the street alone.
•    Teach children to recognize and obey traffic signals and pavement markings.
•    Choose the safest route between home and school and practice walking it with children until they can demonstrate traffic safety awareness.

 

MDUSD is pleased to partner with Street Smarts Diablo to deliver bicycle and pedestrian safety programs at no cost to our schools. They provide


Riding the Bus
More than 2,000 MDUSD students take the bus each day to 49 school sites and educational centers, accounting for more than two million miles driven annually by our bus drivers. Although bus travel is one of the safest ways to get to and from school, injuries can still occur, and most of them take place when children are getting on or off the bus.

Some safety tips for riding the bus are:
•    Arrive at the bus stop at least 10 minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus.
•    Stay out of the street and don't horseplay while waiting.
•    Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting on or off.
•    Remain seated and keep head and arms inside the bus always.
•    Do not shout or distract the driver.
•    Do not walk in the driver's "blind spot" -- the area from the front of the bus to about 12 feet in front of the bus.

 

Bicycle/Wheel Safety
Bicycle riding is a healthy and fun activity; good for people and good for the environment.  However, unsafe practices while riding a bicycle are still associated with a significant number of childhood injuries. According to a safety study from Safe Kids, while bicycling injuries have been declining, other wheeled sports, such as scootering and skateboarding, have seen an increase.    

 

To make sure children are safe when riding bicycles, scooters, or skateboards to school, parents and children should:

  • Wear a properly fitted helmet for every ride – they are the best way to prevent head injuries and death in the event of a crash.
  • Ride in safe locations like sidewalks, bike paths or bike lanes whenever possible.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Ride with your children until you are comfortable with them riding on their own.
  • Check all equipment at the start or end of every season.

There are numerous organizations in the East Bay which promote safe and fun bicycle riding.  Bike East Bay has a Concord campaign with dozens of free classes for adults, teens, and kids to learn to ride, attend family cycling workshops or gain urban riding skills.  Learn more at https://bikeeastbay.org/campaigns/concord.

 

Driving
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths among children age 14 and under.  Tips from the American Automotive Association (AAA) include:

  • Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. 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.
  • Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
  • Eliminate distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. And children can be quick, crossing the road unexpectedly or emerging suddenly between two parked cars. Reduce risk by not using your cell phone or eating while driving, for example.
  • Reverse responsibly. Every vehicle has blind spots. Check for children on the sidewalk, in the driveway and around your vehicle before slowly backing up. Teach your children to never play in, under or around vehicles.
  • Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that he or she wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride.
  • Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

RELATED RESOURCES

 

General Back to School Safety

Pedestrian Safety

  • National Center for Safe  Routes to School

Tips for Parents and Other Adults for Teaching Pedestrian Safety to Children
Sugerencias para Padres y Otros Adultos Sobre Enseñar Seguridad Peatonal a los Niños
Helping Children Learn Pedestrian Safety Skills: Overview for parents and caregivers
Ayudando a los Niños a Aprender Habilidades de Seguridad Peatonal: Visión general para padres y encargados de niños
Tips for Walking Safely to School for Children
Sugerencias para Caminar con Seguridad Hasta la Escuela por los Niños

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Pedestrian Safety Resources

  • Federal Highway Administration

Pedestrian Safer Journey

Caminar Con Cuidado

  • Street Smarts Diablo  

Walk Smart, Bike Smart brochure (English and Spanish)

The “Walking School Bus”

 

Bicycle Safety Resources

  • AAA Exchange

Bicycle Safety

  • The Federal Highway Administration

Bicycle Safer Journey

  • National Center for Safe Routes to School

Helping Your Child Be a Safe Bicyclist 
En Español – Ayudando a su hijo a ser un ciclista seguro
En Español – Andar en tu bicicleta con seguridad

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Easy Steps to Properly Fit a Bicycle Helmet
ABC Quick Check  (Offers a child-oriented quick check to perform before every bike ride)
Ideas to Promote Bicycle Safety
Bike Safety Resources
Be a Role Model!

  • Street Smarts Diablo

“Let’sRide!” Coloring Sheet (Elementary School)

Walk Smart, Bike Smart fact sheet

California Helmet Law – For Bicyclists 18 and Under

 

Driving Safety

  • Street Smarts Diablo Back to School Safe Driving Pamphlet (English and Spanish)

https://streetsmartsdiablo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Back-to-school-flyer-2018-19-Driver-Safety.pdf

  • Street Smarts Diablo Carpooling Tips

https://streetsmartsdiablo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Carpooling-Tips.pdf

  • AAA Guide to Teen Driver Safety

http://teendriving.aaa.com/CA/

  • Safe Driving Tips for Back-to-School Session

http://www.smssi.com/contentmgr/documents/back-to-school-driving-tips-august-2014.pdf

 

 

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About Mt. Diablo Unified

Mt. Diablo Unified, located in Contra Costa County, is honored to serve approximately 32,000 students at one of more than 50 school sites in the cities of Clayton, Concord, Pleasant Hill; portions of Martinez, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek; and the unincorporated communities of Bay Point, Lafayette, and Pacheco. As part of a richly diverse community, MDUSD families represent numerous ethnic communities, speaking nearly 50 different languages and dialects. We offer award-winning innovative programs in Career Technical Education (CTE); Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); extensive visual and performing arts programs; and rich foreign language and dual immersion offerings. MDUSD is pleased to have the only International Baccalaureate (IB) program in Contra Costa County, and one of only three middle college programs regionally, our College Now program.  Learn more at http://www.mdusd.org/.

Posted by: Debbie Maher, District Admin, Mt. Diablo Unified School District Published:8/6/18
Audience: Homepage