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AAA Mid-Atlantic, Local School Districts, Law Enforcement and Safety Partners Offer Back to School Safety Tips
School’s Open, Drive Carefully – Safety tips for parents, students and motorists
PHILADELPHIA, PA (August 29, 2019) –– Students across the region are heading back to school this week and next, marking the return of school buses to the roads. AAA Mid-Atlantic, along with Chichester and Marple Newtown School Districts, local law enforcement, PennDOT, and other safety partners are urging parents, students and motorists to put safety first for road users – motorists, school buses, pedestrians and bicyclists.
“It’s not just the students who need to get ready for back-to-school,” says Jana Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Drivers need to put their phones down, look up, and pay attention to help local students get to and from school safely.”
In 2017, PennDOT reported 292 school bus crashes, resulting in 371 injuries and four fatalities. Of those injured, 35 were school bus drivers and 212 school bus passengers.
“Drivers have had the roads to themselves since mid-June,” said Jack Keith, Patrolman First Class, Upper Chichester Police Department. “As the new school year begins, drivers must remember that their commute time may increase and that leaving home a little earlier can help them get where they need to be on time and with less stress. Too often we see motorists in a hurry and distracted behind the wheel, causing otherwise preventable crashes.”
Motorist Safety Tips
“School bus safety is a top priority in Delaware County, especially here in Chichester School District,” said James Stewart, Chichester School District Director of Transportation. “However, the responsibility lies with all road users. Help our school bus drivers by following the rules of the road when it comes to stopping for school buses, removing all distractions while behind the wheel, and waiting safely at school bus stops.”
Pennsylvania's School Bus Stopping Law
“Motorists continue to drive through the warning signs (lights, stop sign, stop arm) that a school bus is about to come to a stop to pick up or drop off students,” said Mark Dodds, Marple Newtown School District Transportation Supervisor. “And our bus drivers tell us it’s due to motorists being distracted. From their vantage point, bus drivers can see motorists with phones in hand not paying attention to the road and putting lives at risk. Is the distraction worth the risk?”
Tips for Parents and Students
Distracted Driving Homework
AAA Mid-Atlantic is giving drivers “homework” this school year: Take AAA’s “Don’t Drive Intexticated” pledge to quit distracted driving. Launched in April of this year, AAA’s ‘Don’t Drive Intoxicated – Don’t Drive Intexticated’ campaign is even more important as drivers will once again share the roads with school buses, students and many new, inexperienced teen drivers who will be driving to school for the first time. Motorists can sign the pledge online at aaa.com/dontdrivedistracted.
“AAA’s ‘Don’t Drive Intoxicated—Don’t Drive Intexticated’ campaign targets drivers who would never consider getting behind the wheel after drinking an alcoholic beverage and, yet, will use a mobile device while driving, dangerously taking their eyes and minds off the road,” noted Tidwell. "We hope more drivers make an effort to minimize their distractions to create safer driving conditions for everyone on the road. Share those first day of school photos before taking getting behind the wheel, not while driving down the road. Your life and the lives of others are at risk.”
Additional Back to School Safety Resources:
School’s Open, Drive Carefully: https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/child-safety/schools-open-drive-carefully/#.W1CwIiErJQI
Pedestrian Safety: https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/pedestrian-safety/#.W1CxSyErJQI
AAA has loaded its website with lots of useful, free information to help keep children safe: Visit www.AAA.com/Safety.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.
Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.
This event had:
This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA
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