As part of its ongoing effort to improve highway safety, PennDOT is providing school districts with brief monthly messages for inclusion in websites or in electronic newsletters. These messages will cover various safety topics from school bus safety to underage DUI to texting and driving. It is our hope that parents and students will benefit from these safety tips.
September – seat belt/teen reminders
1. With the new school year in full swing, PennDOT is reminding young drivers and parents/caregivers alike of the state’s laws regarding child passenger safety. Drivers or passengers under 18 years of age must buckle up. Children under 8 years old must be properly restrained. This is a primary law, which means that police will pull you over, write you a ticket and if convicted, you’ll have to pay a fine. To learn about recommendations on child safety seats as well as the state’s law for wearing seat belts over age 18, visit JustDrivePA.com.
2. All drivers should be aware of fall driving hazards as October and November approaches. Wet leaves, fog, sun glare, and frost are only a few of those hazards. Hunting and mating season also causes deer to become more active. PennDOT reminds driver to remain aware to changing driving conditions and avoid distractions especially in unfamiliar surroundings. To learn more information on fall driving, visit JustDrivePA.com.
3. With school back in session, PennDOT, Buckle Up PA, and
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds teachers and
students that a new Traffic Safety School Program “Sit Back- It’s Elementary”
has been developed. The materials are designed to provide lifesaving messages
to Elementary School Students and reduce the number of unnecessary traffic
related injuries and deaths. For more information on the types of activities
the program offers, visit pasafetyedu.org.
August – school bus safety
1. It’s that time when school buses are everywhere. If a school bus has its lights flashing and stop arm extended, you must stop. The only exception is if you are on the other side of a highway divided by a concrete barrier or grassy median. If you are following or traveling alongside a school bus, the law also requires you to stop at least 10 feet away. Learn more about the school bus stopping law and penalties for violations at www.JustDrivePA.com.
National Stop on Red Week August 2-8
2. Whether you are a teacher, a parent, a school bus driver or a partner in the transportation industry, it is important to assist in educating students about school bus safety. Motorists must stop when they are behind the bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped. To help the public better understand Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping law, PennDOT’s highway safety Web site, .JustDrivePA.com now offers an interactive feature. Visit the sites Traffic Safety Information Center and click on the School Bus Safety link for further details.
3. In 2013, 44 U.S. children died after being left unattended in motor vehicles. Never leave your child alone in the car, no matter what the weather conditions. On a hot day, a child’s temperature heats up to 5 times faster than adults. This tragedy is 100 percent preventable, always look before you lock. Remember heat stroke kills.
July – Motorcycle Safety *update with any new course information or courses*
1. Summer is in full gear – remember to watch for motorcycles – they are smaller vehicles and may be difficult to see. Allow more following distance and always signal your intentions before changing lanes/merging into traffic. For more safety tips on sharing the road safely, visit www.JustDrivePA.com. And, if you are a motorcycle rider, you know that car drivers don’t always see you. For your safety, consider taking a motorcycle safety course. Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Safety Program offers free courses March through October at roughly 70 locations across PA. For more information and to enroll in a course, visit www.pamsp.com. And, check out www.LiveFreeRideAlive.com when you get a chance. The website offers great resources for riders, including rider tips, information on motorcycle gear and upkeep and popular motorcycle routes in PA. Oh, and did you know that while the use of all protective gear is always encouraged, PA law requires you to wear a helmet if you are under 21. For those over 21, Pa law requires you to wear a helmet if you have not been licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least 2 years or have completed a motorcycle safety course. Additionally, all riders are required to wear eye-protective devices unless operating a motorized pedalcycle or a three-wheeled motorcycle equipped with an enclosed cab. And if you are under 18 and want a motorcycle license, you must take the PAMSP training course.
2. Summer is in full swing-don’t forget to watch for motorcycles. Maintain a safe following distance and always use your turn signals. Motorcyclists can take a safety course to increase their safety while riding. For course information and locations visit www.pamsp.com. Remember that if you are under 18 and want a motorcycle license, you must take the PAMSP course. For additional rider resources visit www.LiveFreeRideAlive.com