OC Freeholders Offer Back to School Safety Tips
You see them every weekday morning and late in the afternoon, a vast fleet of school buses and lots of children traveling to and from their learning institutions.
Ocean County Freeholder Joe Vicari urges all motorist to use extra caution. "And absolutely, when you're driving as a motorist, do not use your cell phone, no text messaging and please do not drink coffee as you're driving." Vicari says young children who are walking to school are often very anxious to get there and are sometimes inattentive. He says it's not uncommon to see one of them dart into traffic without looking.
Vicari also advises parents to allow their children to take the school buses. He says he isn't sure why some parents insist on driving their kids. "Children love taking the school bus. It's very safe. They're with their friends. They have state-of-the-art seat belts." He says it's also a good way for parents to save money on gas.
He also urges motorist to follow the law when traveling on the roads with school buses, like stopping for buses flashing those big red lights. He says police will be out following some of the buses and issuing summonses to violators.
Now if you let your kids bike to school, Vicari asks parents and guardians to make sure children wear bike helmets.
Vicari says parents should familiarize themselves with school district websites to learn their children's schedules and also the items they need to purchase for the semester.
He also says it's a good time for parents and guardians to check the Megan's Law Registry for sex offenders who may be living in your neighborhoods. He says it can be accessed at the Ocean County website as well as the State Police website.