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New Motor Vehicle Laws for 2017

With 2017 just around the corner, we rounded up new laws impacting vehicle & traffic safety we thought you should know about. All of these laws take effect on January 1, 2017.
Cell Phone (Electronic Wireless Device) Usage: It will be illegal to hold a cell phone (or other wireless electronic device) while operating a motor vehicle. Phones and devices will need to be mounted on the dashboard or windshield, and may only be operated by hand when activating or deactivating a feature or function can be done with “a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger” (View full text of AB 1785)
School Bus Safety: All school buses, school pupil activity buses, youth buses & child care motor vehicles used to transport school-age children will be required to have a “child safety alert system”. Since this device requires the driver to contact or scan it before leaving the vehicle, it prompts them to verify that all children have disembarked. Schools will also be required to have procedures in place to, “ensure that a pupil is not left unattended on a school bus.” (View full text of SB 1072)
Child Safety Seats: Children under 2 years of age must ride rear-facing in a child safety seat, unless they are more than 40 pounds or taller than 40 inches. (View full text of AB 53)

Drive with Care: October is Walk to School Month (2016)

WBTS_LogoInternational Walk to School Day is October 5. This means that in October, cities across the US (and throughout the world) will hold Walk to School events to encourage students and their families to get to school on foot and experience the benefits and joys of walking in their community.
streetsmartsdiabloSchools in Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Concord, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek will be teaming up with Street Smarts Diablo for Walk to School events. Events in Antioch, Concord, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek will happen on October 5, while Brentwood and Oakley schools will celebrate on October 19.
With more students walking to and from school with this national event, motorists are reminded to drive with extra care, stay alert for children crossing the road, and be especially aware of school zone speed limits.
For a list of participating schools and event dates, visit the Street Smarts Diablo website.

Start Smart: Free Teen Driving Safety Program – Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 (Concord)

startsmartDid you know that your bicycle is considered a vehicle and that the same laws that apply to motorists apply to cyclists? Come learn more about keeping your teens safe on the road with a 2-hour Start Smart driving and bicycling safety class September 29 in Concord.  Accompanying your student to the class is a great way to show them just how much their safety means to you.
screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-4-36-35-pmStart Smart, led by the California Highway Patrol, is designed to educate teens and their parents on common high-risk behaviors of new motorists & how to prevent distracted driving. The event will not only help new drivers stay safe behind the wheel, it will also explain the Rules of the Road regarding cyclists and present strategies to help your teen keep vulnerable road users, like pedestrians and cyclists, safe as well.
street_smarts_diablo_sm-500x230The class is open to all high school students and will be held at Ygnacio Valley High School from 6:30-8:30pm on Thursday, September 29. Each student must be accompanied by at least one parent or guardian. The event is free, but registration is requested via the Eventbrite event page.
This evening is presented by Street Smarts Diablo,  the California Highway Patrol, and Ygnacio Valley High School. For additional information, click here.

Free Teen Driving Safety Program: Feb. 18, 2016 (Lafayette)

If you live in or near Lafayette, help your teen be a safer driver by bringing them to the CHP’s Start Smart program on February 18! This two-hour driver safety class at Acalanes High School is for new and future licensed teenage drivers and their parents. All are invited to attend!
startsmartPresented by the California Highway Patrol, and Acalanes High School, the event is free but registration is requested. Click here to register.
The class will be held at Acalanes High School (at 1200 Pleasant Hill Rd) in Lafayette from 7-9pm.

Field Trips with Capitol Corridor's 'Train Treks'

Capitol Corridor’s Train Treks for Kids program offers discounted train travel for student and youth groups of 20 or more. With access to destinations between Sacramento and San Jose, groups can visit sites like the State Capitol in Sacramento, Pier 39 in San Francisco and the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.
Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 4.08.14 PMTrain Treks takes advantage of open seats to provide groups a substantial discount. Pricing is broken into three fare zones with groups paying for each zone traveled. All members of the group, both adult chaperones and children, pay the same discounted price.
For more information on the Train Treks program, read their FAQ or visit the Train Treks webpage.

The 2015 Summer Youth Pass Is Back – 3 Months of Unlimited Rides

The Summer Youth Pass is back for 2015! Youths 17 and under can get 3 months of unlimited rides on Tri Delta Transit and WestCAT fixed-route buses for just $50.
WestCAT, Tri Delta Transit and 511 Contra Costa have teamed up to offer this year’s Summer Youth Pass. Passes are available to anyone 17 years of age and under for just $50 each.
Tri_Delta_Transit_logoThe pass is in the form of a waterproof wristband and is good for 3 months of unlimited rides (June 1 through August 31) on all Tri Delta Transit fixed-route buses and all WestCAT fixed-route and express buses (including the 30Z Martinez Link)*.
Passes are currently on sale and can be purchased any one of three ways:
In Person: Pick up a Summer Youth Pass at the Tri Delta Transit administrative office (801 Wilbur Ave, Antioch) or at WestCAT (601 Walter Ave, Pinole) during business hours
Online: Click here to order the Summer Youth Pass via the Tri Delta Transit website
Mail/Fax/Phone: You can fax or mail in a completed order form to Tri Delta Transit (download here), or place your order by phone (credit card orders only) by calling 925-754-6622
summeryouthpass
For more information about the promotion or either transit agency, please visit WestCAT.org or TriDeltaTransit.com, or call WestCAT at (510) 724-3331 or Tri Delta Transit at (925) 754-4040.

*Summer youth passes not valid on Dial-a-Ride or WestCAT LYNX Transbay service. Summer Youth Passes are non-refundable, non-redeemable, and non-transferable.

 

Rancho Medanos Junior High School: Bike & Roll to School – April 29, 2015

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Rancho Medanos Junior High School parents & students, it’s time to get ready to Bike and Roll to School!
As a lead-up to National Bike to School Day on May 6, Street Smarts Diablo is teaming up with Contra Costa middle schools for a series of individual Bike & Roll to School events. On April 29, Rancho Medanos Junior High School students will be accepting the challenge to get to school on wheels by riding their bikes, skateboards and scooters!
To celebrate the challenge, Street Smarts Diablo will have some free helmets on hand to provide to Rancho Medanos Junior High School students who arrive to school with wheels and need a properly fitting helmet. Parents are welcome to bring students’ bikes to school by car, so that any child starting the day without a helmet can get to school and roll home safely.
Motorists are reminded to drive with extra care and be especially aware of school zone speed limits and children walking and biking to and from school on Wednesday, April 29, particularly around the vicinity of Rancho Medanos Junior High School in Pittsburg (West Leland Rd, Range Road and surrounding streets).
For more information visit 511 Contra Costa’s Bike to School resource page or contact Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Free Teen Driving Safety Classes: Concord, San Ramon, Antioch (Apr. 2015)

Bring your teen to one of the CHP’s Start Smart classes! Spending just two hours with them can make them a safer driver. This program is for new and future licensed teenage drivers and their parents. All are invited to attend!
There are three classes happening soon:

Presented by the California Highway Patrol, Streets Smarts Diablo and Street Smarts San Ramon Valley the events are free but registration is requested. Click any of the class listings above to register or get details.
If you can’t attend any of the listed events, the CHP offers the Start Smart class twice a month at their Martinez offices. For more information, call 925-646-4980.

Walnut Creek Intermediate School: Bike & Roll to School – April 28, 2015

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WCI_HallWalnut Creek Intermediate School parents & students, it’s time to get ready to Bike and Roll to School!
As a lead-up to National Bike to School Day on May 6, Street Smarts Diablo is teaming up with Contra Costa middle schools for a series of individual Bike & Roll to School events. On April 28, Walnut Creek Intermediate School students will be accepting the challenge to get to school on wheels by riding their bikes, skateboards and scooters!
To celebrate the challenge, Street Smarts Diablo will have some free helmets on hand to provide to Walnut Creek Intermediate School students who arrive to school with wheels and need a properly fitting helmet. Parents are welcome to bring students’ bikes to school by car, so that any child starting the day without a helmet can get to school and roll home safely.
Motorists are reminded to drive with extra care and be especially aware of school zone speed limits and children walking and biking to and from school on Tuesday, April 28, particularly around the vicinity of Walnut Creek Intermediate School (Ygnacio Valley Rd, N Civic Dr, Walnut Blvd, Homestead Ave and surrounding streets).
For more information visit 511 Contra Costa’s Bike to School resource page or contact Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Free Teen Driving Safety Program: April 20, 2015 (Concord)


If you live in or near Concord, help your teen be a safer driver by bringing them to the CHP’s Start Smart program on April 20! This two-hour driver safety class at Clayton Valley Charter High School is for new and future licensed teenage drivers and their parents. All are invited to attend!
Presented by the California Highway Patrol, Street Smarts Diablo and Clayton Valley Charter High School, the event is free but registration is requested. Click here to register.
The class will be held at Clayton Valley Charter High School (at 1101 Alberta Way) in Concord from 6:30-8:30pm. For more information, call Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Antioch Middle School: Bike & Roll to School – April 23, 2015

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Antioch Middle School parents & students, it’s time to get ready to Bike and Roll to School!
As a lead-up to National Bike to School Day on May 6, Street Smarts Diablo is teaming up with Contra Costa middle schools for a series of individual Bike & Roll to School events. On April 23, Antioch Middle School students will be accepting the challenge to get to school on wheels by riding their bikes, skateboards and scooters!
To celebrate the challenge, Street Smarts Diablo will have some free helmets on hand to provide to Antioch Middle School students who arrive to school with wheels and need a properly fitting helmet. Parents are welcome to bring students’ bikes to school by car, so that any child starting the day without a helmet can get to school and roll home safely.
Motorists are reminded to drive with extra care and be especially aware of school zone speed limits and children walking and biking to and from school on Thursday, April 23, particularly around the vicinity of Antioch Middle School in Antioch (10th St, L St, 18th St, D St, G St and surrounding streets).
For more information visit 511 Contra Costa’s Bike to School resource page or contact Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Pine Hollow Middle School: Bike & Roll to School – April 2, 2015

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Pine Hollow Middle School parents & students, it’s time to get ready to Bike and Roll to School!
As a lead-up to National Bike to School Day on May 6, Street Smarts Diablo is teaming up with Contra Costa middle schools for a series of individual Bike & Roll to School events. On April 2, Pine Hollow Middle School students will be accepting the challenge to get to school on wheels by riding their bikes, skateboards and scooters!
To celebrate the challenge, Street Smarts Diablo will have some free helmets on hand to provide to Pine Hollow Middle School students who arrive to school with wheels and need a properly fitting helmet. Parents are welcome to bring students’ bikes to school by car, so that any child starting the day without a helmet can get to school and roll home safely.
Motorists are reminded to drive with extra care and be especially aware of school zone speed limits and children walking and biking to and from school on Thursday, April 2, particularly around the vicinity of Pine Hollow Middle School in Concord (Pine Hollow Rd, Kaiser Quarry Rd, Mitchell Canyon Rd, El Camino Dr and surrounding streets).
For more information visit 511 Contra Costa’s Bike to School resource page or contact Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Junior High: Bike & Roll to School – April 15, 2015

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Junior High parents & students, it’s time to get ready to Bike and Roll to School!
As a lead-up to National Bike to School Day on May 6, Street Smarts Diablo is teaming up with Contra Costa middle schools for a series of individual Bike & Roll to School events. On April 15, Martin Luther King, Jr. Junior High students will be accepting the challenge to get to school on wheels by riding their bikes, skateboards and scooters!
To celebrate the challenge, Street Smarts Diablo will have some free helmets on hand to provide to Martin Luther King, Jr. Junior High students who arrive to school with wheels and need a properly fitting helmet. Parents are welcome to bring students’ bikes to school by car, so that any child starting the day without a helmet can get to school and roll home safely.
Motorists are reminded to drive with extra care and be especially aware of school zone speed limits and children walking and biking to and from school on Wednesday, April 15, particularly around the vicinity of Martin Luther King, Jr. Junior High in Pittsburg (California Ave, Loveridge Rd, Harbor St, E 14th St and surrounding streets).
For more information visit 511 Contra Costa’s Bike to School resource page or contact Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Foothill Middle School: Bike & Roll to School – March 31, 2015

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Foothill Middle School parents & students, it’s time to get ready to Bike and Roll to School!
As a lead-up to National Bike to School Day on May 6, Street Smarts Diablo is teaming up with Contra Costa middle schools for a series of individual Bike & Roll to School events. On March 31, Foothill Middle School students will be accepting the challenge to get to school on wheels by riding their bikes, skateboards and scooters!
To celebrate the challenge, Street Smarts Diablo will have some free helmets on hand to provide to Foothill Middle School students who arrive to school with wheels and need a properly fitting helmet. Parents are welcome to bring students’ bikes to school by car, so that any child starting the day without a helmet can get to school and roll home safely.
Motorists are reminded to drive with extra care and be especially aware of school zone speed limits and children walking and biking to and from school on Tuesday, March 31, particularly around the vicinity of Foothill Middle School in Walnut Creek (Ygnacio Valley Rd, Oak Grove Rd, Cedro Ln and surrounding streets).
For more information visit 511 Contra Costa’s Bike to School resource page or contact Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Street Smarts Diablo Bike & Roll to School Events: March 31 – May 6, 2015

National Bike to School Day is Wednesday, May 6. As a lead-up to the big day, Street Smarts Diablo is teaming up with select middle schools in Contra Costa for a series of individual Bike & Roll to School events. Middle school students will be accepting the challenge to get to school on wheels by riding their bikes, skateboards and scooters!
Drivers are advised to exercise extreme caution from late March through early May as bicycling and walking events will mean an increase in school-aged children walking & bicycling to and from school.
NBM2014_Web_Site_Header_editNational Bike to School Day is a one-day event occurring in May that encourages and celebrates biking to school. Bike to School Day events can include bicycle safety education, parent-led bike trains, and other bicycle-related education and encouragement activities. Street Smarts Diablo’s Bike & Roll events build off of the energy of National Bike Month, encouraging student health and fitness, biking safety, and concern for the environment while decreasing traffic congestion around campus.
As part of the Bike & Roll to School celebrations, Street Smarts Diablo will have some free helmets on hand to provide to students who arrive to school with wheels and need a properly fitting helmet. Parents are welcome to bring students’ bikes to school by car, so that any child starting the day without a helmet can get to school and roll home safely.
If your child is planning on biking school, these two guides from the National Center for Safe Routes to School will help get both of you ready:

Schools participating in the 2015 Bike & Roll Challenge – click any event for more information:
streetsmartsdiabloFoothill Middle School, Walnut Creek – Tuesday, March 31
Pine Hollow Middle School, Concord – Thursday, April 2
Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High, Pittsburg – Wednesday, April 15
Antioch Middle School, Antioch – Thursday, April 23

Walnut Creek Intermediate School, Walnut Creek – Tuesday, April 28
Rancho Medanos Jr. High, Pittsburg – Wed., Apr. 29

For more information on Bike & Roll to School events, contact Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Schedule & Services Changes: County Connection, Wheels, Tri Delta Transit (Feb. 2015)

WHEELSWheels (LAVTA) – The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority is making minor changes to several of its regular and school-focused bus routes effective Saturday, February 21:

  • Route 2 – The afternoon schedule has been modified to improve timings for Fallon Middle School students; trips now depart E Dublin BART at 30 minutes past each hour instead of at the hour.
  • Route 9 – Trips that previously operated as Route 70X now operate as Route 9 in the Hacienda Business Park. The Inglewood/Chabot loop has been discontinued.
  • Route 10 – The morning starting time of service has been modified; westbound service now begins
    approximately 30 minutes later, while eastbound service starts approximately 30 minutes earlier than in the
    previous schedule.
  • Route 11 – The previous 5:57am trip has been discontinued, and a new 8:12am trip added to the morning service. In the afternoon, all trips now depart the Transit Center 15 minutes later compared to the previous schedule.
  • Route 70X – See notation for Route 9 above; passengers will continue to be able to travel between the Walnut Creek and Hacienda areas and vice versa without the need to transfer buses.
  • Route 605 – The route has been extended to Martin Avenue, and now operates the segment similar to Route 608.
  • Minor timing adjustments have been made to the schedules of routes 10, 12, 15, and Rapid.

Click here to see the full press release.
Tri Delta TransitTri Delta Transit – Tri Delta Transit will have a new schedule taking effect on Sunday, March 8. The new schedule will include:

  • Time Changes: Routes 201, 300, 380, 385, 387, 388, 391
  • NEW morning run on Route 385 EB. Service for Liberty High School Students

Printed schedules will be available on board buses the week of March 1. To request a schedule by mail, call 925-754-6622. Click here to view the new timetables.
County Connection – Thanks to the property owners in the Shadelands Business Park, County Connection’s Route 7 buses are now free to all passengers (effective February 16). Route 7 operates M-F every 15 minutes from approximately 6:30–10:00am and 3:00–7:30pm traveling between the Pleasant Hill BART station and the Shadelands Business Park via Treat Blvd and Oak Grove Road. To view the schedule and route map, click here.
AC TransitAC Transit – Although AC Transit’s service expansion does not affect Contra Costa County directly, the addition of weekend service on Lines 46 and 339 make it possible to connect from BART to AC Transit to visit Chabot Space and Science Center and the Oakland Zoo, as well as other worship and recreational facilities.
The service expansion takes effect on Sunday, March 15 and affects Lines 72R, 46, 200, 212, 217, 339 and NL.

MTC's 2015 High School Internship Program: Now Taking Applications

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is offering opportunities for Bay Area high school students to get hands-on experience in the transportation field through paid summer internships. They are currently accepting applications for positions in 9 Bay Area counties, including Contra Costa. This year 511 Contra Costa is proud to offer two internship opportunities as part of the program, in our El Cerrito and Pleasant Hill offices.
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Interested students are encouraged to apply for positions in their home county. A current list of available positions is available on the MTC website.
Qualified applicants must:

  • live and go to school in the county they are applying for;
  • have completed the 10th grade; and
  • be at least 16 years of age by date of hire (Thursday, June 18, 2015)*
*NOTE: If you are offered an internship, are under 18 years of age and will not be graduating prior to the start of the program, you will be required to obtain a work permit. Graduating seniors are eligible to apply.

The program is the creation of the MTC’s Minority Citizens Advisory Committee, designed to encourage young people who might not otherwise consider a career in transportation to do so. Students of all races and ethnic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.
To apply or to get more information, visit: mtc.ca.gov/jobs/high_school or contact the MTC Internship Coordinator by phone at (510) 817-5807 or by emailing them at InternCoordinator@mtc.ca.gov. The application deadline is Sunday, March 22.
 

This article has been edited to reflect the MTC’s application deadline change.

 

Free Teen Driving Safety Program: November 17, 2014 (Walnut Creek)

If you’ve got a teenage driver in the house, or a teen who’ll be driving soon, a great way to help them stay safer behind the wheel is to bring them to the CHP Smart Start Driving Safety Program. This two-hour driver safety class targets new and future licensed teenage drivers and their parents. On the evening of Monday, November 17, all are invited to attend the Smart Start class at Las Lomas High School.
Presented by the California Highway Patrol, Street Smarts Diablo and Las Lomas High School, the event is free and open to all students and parents, but registration is requested. Click here to register.startsmart
The class will be held at Las Lomas High School (at 1460 South Main Street) in
Walnut Creek from 7-9pm. For more information, call Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Free Teen Driving Safety Program: October 28, 2014 (Oakley)

If you’ve got a teenage driver in the house, or a teen who’ll be driving soon, a great way to help them stay safer behind the wheel is to bring them to the CHP Smart Start Driving Safety Program. This two-hour driver safety class targets new and future licensed teenage drivers and their parents. On the evening of Tuesday, October 28, all are invited to attend the Smart Start class at Freedom High School.
Presented by the California Highway Patrol, Streets Smarts Diablo and Freedom High School, the event is free and open to all students and parents, but registration is requested. Click here to register.startsmart
The class will be held at Freedom High School (at 1050 Neroly Rd) in
Oakley from 7-9pm. For more information, call Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Free Cycling Festival in Antioch on October 23, 2014 – Free Helmets & Lights

SSD & ABC Cycling Festival Oct 23
Street Smarts Diablo and the Antioch Bike Club invite you to a free Cycling Festival at Antioch High School on Thursday, October 23 from 3-5pm. It’s the perfect afterschool activity!
Bring your bike and take advantage of free tune-ups and repairs. Need a helmet or bike lights? We’ll be giving away free bike lights and helmets (while supplies last). One lucky attendee will even win a brand-new cruiser bike!
Not only can you watch the action of the BMX stunt show, you can be part of it by racing on a bike blender! Mark your calendar and join us for this fun community event.

Free Teen Driving Safety Program: October 2, 2014 (Antioch)

If you’ve got a teenage driver in the house, or a teen who’ll be driving soon, a great way to help them stay safer behind the wheel is to bring them to the CHP Smart Start Driving Safety Program. This two-hour driver safety class targets new and future licensed teenage drivers and their parents. On the evening of Thursday, October 2, all are invited to attend the Smart Start class at Deer Valley High School.
Presented by the California Highway Patrol, Streets Smarts Diablo and Deer Valley High School, the event is free and open to all students and parents, but registration is requested. Click here to register.startsmart
The class will be held in the Theater of Deer Valley High School (at 4700 Lone Tree Way) in
Antioch from 7-9pm. For more information, call Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Free Teen Driving Safety Program: September 17, 2014 (Martinez)

If you’ve got a teenage driver in the house, or a teen who’ll be driving soon, a great way to help them stay safer behind the wheel is to bring them to the CHP Smart Start Driving Safety Program. This two-hour driver safety class targets new and future licensed teenage drivers and their parents. On the evening of Wednesday, September 17th, all are invited to attend the Smart Start class at Alhambra High School.
Presented by the California Highway Patrol, Streets Smarts Diablo and Alhambra High School, the event is free and open to all students and parents, but registration is requested. Click here to register.startsmart
The class will be held in the Performing Arts Building of Alhambra High School (at 150 E Street) in
Martinez from 6-8pm. For more information, call Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Reminders for School Zones, Crossing Guards, and Yellow School Buses

As schools are back in session safety officials urge motorists to be especially mindful of  their driving behavior in and around school zones and school buses.

BUS REM
A bus in front of San Jose’s Burnett Middle School with red lights flashing and stop sign deployed is ignored by drivers passing on the left. (Mercury News archives) (Rick E. Martin)

Do not pass a school bus with its flashing red lights and stop sign extended in either direction on an undivided highway. If there is a median divider, stop if traveling in the same direction as the bus.

  • Be prepared to stop if you see a school bus that has its flashing yellow lights activated. School buses use their yellow flashing lights to warn motorists of an upcoming bus stop.
  • Obey the speed limit. Kids are quick and don’t always think before running into the street.
  • Do not under any circumstances load or unload your child in the middle of the street or in the second lane of a drop-off circle at school. When dropping off a child pull all the way to the curb so the child exits the car on the right side. Children seated in the left side of the vehicle should exit on the right side of the vehicle.
  • Do not park in a red zone. They are there for a reason. You may be blocking the vision of a crossing guard or crosswalk.
  • The crossing guard’s stop sign means to stop until he/she leaves the crosswalk.
  • When pulling up to a crosswalk leave enough room between your car and the crosswalk so that if you are rear-ended you won’t collide with the guard or children crossing the street.
  • When crossing a street with your child, wait for the crossing guard to signal that it is safe to do so. Lead by example and train your child to listen to directions of the crossing guard.
  • Your child should never run, ride a scooter, skateboard or bicycle in the crosswalk.  Always walk.
  • Often the worst offenders of excessive speed and reckless motorist behavior in and around school zones is mom and dad.