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AAA Cautions: Kids, Cars, Congestion coming to a school zone near you

America’s children are heading back to school; keep them safe by driving cautiously through school zones.

AAAWashington, D.C. — As 56 million students across the United States get ready to start the 2010-2011 school year, AAA reminds motorists to be aware of increased child pedestrian activity and traffic congestion in and around neighborhoods and school zones.

With more than half of those students in elementary school, typically age 14 and younger, AAA urges drivers to be especially cautious and alert during the morning and afternoon hours.

School Kids getting on a bus.
School Kids getting on a bus.

AAA’s School’s Open – Drive Carefully campaign was launched in 1946 to help reduce the number of school-related pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Jennifer Huebner, manager of AAA Traffic Safety Programs, offers the following advice for motorists to keep children safe as they navigate their way through school zones.

  • Follow the speed limit. School zone speed limits are purposefully set low. Children are unpredictable and may have difficulty gauging the distance and speed of an approaching car.
  • Look for AAA School Safety Patrollers. With more than half a million AAA School Safety Patrollers at 30,000 schools across the country, they’re a sure sign you’re approaching a school zone.
  • Come to a complete stop at intersections with stop signs. Research shows that more than one third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods.
  • Always stop for loading or unloading school busses. It may be tempting to drive around stopped school busses, but not only is it dangerous, it’s against the law.
  • Eliminate driver distraction. AAA research shows that taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. Putting down your phone makes you a safer driver and sets a good example for young passengers and pedestrians.
  • Plan Ahead. Leave early for your destination and build in extra time for congestion. Modify your route to avoid school zones and traffic.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at www.AAA.com.

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