Welcome back, kids! Tuesday, August 22nd was the first day of school in the Boise School District and it wasn’t just the youngsters climbing aboard the big yellow buses. More than a dozen Boise Police Officers also went back to school. The officers rode buses with the kids to help welcome them back and offer some school safety tips. It was a great morning filled with a lot of excitement!
Back to school tips for students
• Map out with your parents a safe way to walk to school or to the bus stop. Avoid crossing busy roads and intersections, if possible. Do a trial run with your parents so that you can discuss areas to avoid along the way, such as vacant lots, construction areas, and parks where there aren’t many people. Also, discuss safe places to go in case of an emergency along the route.
• Follow traffic signals and rules when walking or biking. Do not talk to strangers or people you “sort of know” and do not go anywhere with them without your parents’ permission. If you see a suspicious stranger hanging around or in your school, tell a trusted adult.
• Memorize your phone number and full address, including area code and zip code. Write down other important phone numbers such as your parents’ work and cell phone on a card to carry with you.
• Use the buddy system and walk/bike to school with friends.
Back to school tips for parents
• Talk to your children about their day. Ask your children if they see anyone bullied or if they are bullied. Look for warning signs such as a sudden drop in grades, loss of friends, or torn clothing.
• Keep an eye on your children’s internet use. Talk to your children about what sites they visit, who they email, and who they chat with. Encourage them to speak up if something makes them uncomfortable, or if they witness forms of cyber bullying such as threats or harassment.
Back to school tips for drivers
• Allow for extra time in your daily commute and prepare for additional foot/bike traffic in residential areas and especially around schools.
• The speed limit in school zones is 20 mph. School zones in Boise City are marked with flashing yellow lights when the slower speed limit is in effect. The fine for speeding in a Boise City School Zone is $141.50.
• Failing to yield to a pedestrian before crossing a crosswalk carries a $75 fine.
• Failing to stop for a school bus is a misdemeanor, with a fine between $100 and $500.
• If a school bus has its red lights flashing and/or the bus stop sign arm extended, traffic in both directions must stop if the road has three or less lanes. If it’s a four lane road, only traffic moving in the same direction as the school bus must stop.