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Alsip Police Department
Thursday August 20th, 2015 :: 01:59 p.m. CDT


**SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS from the Alsip PD**

With the start of a new school year, the Alsip Police Department is asking for your cooperation in ensuring our kids make it to and from school safely every day. Here are some helpful tips for motorists, parents and kids.

-When dropping children off at school, remember to follow your school's procedures for pickup and dropoff. Your child's school has developed this procedure with your child's safety in mind, so it's important to follow it, as well as following any changes to the procedure school staff need to make based on circumstances such as inclement weather.
-School zones are marked with a yellow pentagon-shaped sign with the image of two people walking. The speed limit in school zones is 20 mph on school days between the hours of 7AM and 4PM to ensure the safety of children attending before- and after-school activities. A ticket for speeding in a school zone requires you to appear in court and carries a minimum $150 fine.
-Disobeying a school crossing guard's instruction to stop carries the same penalties (min. $150 fine/mandatory court appearance). Crossing guards and their school-age volunteer helpers are the first line of defense for kids who walk to and from school, so make sure to look out for their safety as well.
-ALL cell phone usage is prohibited in school zones...even hands-free usage in a school zone is illegal under Illinois law. It goes without saying that texting while driving, which is always prohibited, is doubly dangerous in school zones, even when you are moving slowly through a drop-off line. Kids, especially young kids, can be unpredictable, and have a harder time judging a car's speed and distance, and may dart into the street or cross at an unsafe place.
-School buses activate flashing amber lights approximately 100 feet before stopping to warn other motorists. If stopped on a two-lane roadway, BOTH SIDES of traffic must stop for a school bus with its stop sign activated. Wait for the bus to resume motion before proceeding, to allow enough time for children to safely exit the bus.

More kids are injured by vehicles in areas around schools and mostly in the morning and afternoon hours when kids are either going to school or coming home. This peaks in September as pedestrians and motorists have to get used to the increased foot traffic around schools again. Help ensure your own safety by:
-Always walking on sidewalks whenever they are available. Many areas in the Village do not have sidewalks, so if you must walk in the street, stay as close to the curb as possible, and walk facing oncoming traffic.
-Cross only at crosswalks, never in the middle of the street. Before crossing, look left, then right, then left again to make sure it is safe before stepping into the street to cross.
-Be aware of your surroundings. Never cross the street while using an electronic device such as a cell phone or game system, and remove headphones. "Distracted walking" can be as dangerous to your safety as a distracted driver!
-Bike riders need to know the rules of the road, as cyclists must follow the same rules as drivers, such as stopping at stop signs. Ride single file in the direction of the flow of traffic, watching out for hazards such as opening doors on parked cars. When crossing, look left, right and left again as well as over your shoulder to make sure it's safe to go. Wear bright or reflective clothing, have reflectors on the bike, and consider attaching a rear view mirror.
-Bus riders should wait for the bus off the roadway and avoid horseplay and other activities which might lead to carelessness and injury. Once on the bus, don't engage in behavior that might distract the driver, keep heads and arms inside the bus, and keep the aisles clear of bookbags or other tripping hazards.

By following a few basic safety precautions, we can work together to make sure all our kids make it to school and back home safely. The Alsip Police Department thanks you for your consideration of the safety of all our residents.

For additional school safety tips, visit the following websites:

Alsip Police Department
4500 123RD St
Alsip, IL 60803

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 708-385-6902

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