Motorists in California are being asked to be extra careful when driving around schools this month as pupils return from their summer vacations.

The plea comes from The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) as part of Back to School Safety Month.

“With the school year starting soon for many districts, it is important that the public is mindful of the increase in children getting to and from school,” said Randy Weissman, OTS Acting Director.

“Children should never feel in danger when traveling to school, and it is up to everyone, whether they are driving, walking or biking, to be safe in school zones.”

The OTS offers the following tips to parents and the public to make sure children are safe this school year:

  • Always be on the lookout for children when traveling around schools, especially during pick-up and drop-off times.
  • Avoid distractions while driving like texting, talking on the phone, eating or grooming.
  • Preplan your child’s route to school.
  • If your child takes the bus, remind them to line up away from the curb and look both ways when getting on or off.
  • Know what to do around buses. Flashing yellow lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop and flashing red lights means stop. California law requires drivers in both directions to stop until the red lights are no longer flashing.
  • Test your child on traffic signals and signs. Make sure they always wear their helmet, don’t wear earbuds, and look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Don’t rely on listening for cars as many are quiet and hard to hear. Always watch for cars coming in and out of parking spaces.