Red Cross offers travel safety tips ahead of back to school

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The American Red Cross offers tips everyone can follow to help make this year's back to school a safe one.

“Safety should be the top priority for all students, especially younger children and those heading to school for the first time,” said Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “Whether riding, biking or walking to school, we want everyone to arrive and then return home safely.”

Below are a list of tips to follow:

Bus Safety

If your child rides a bus to school, plan to get to the bus stop early and stand back from the curb while waiting

Wait to board the bus until it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has signaled to get on

Tell children they should only board their bus - never an alternate one

Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus


Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk

Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars

When students are walking to school, they should only cross the street at an intersection. If possible, use a route with crossing guards

Parents should walk young children to school, along with children taking new routes or attending new schools, at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate


Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4’9”) and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old

If a teenager is driving to school, parents should mandate that he or she use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving


Some students ride their bike to school. They should always wear a helmet and ride on the right in the same direction as the traffic is going

Check out our other Back to School stories here.

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