School supplies, orientation, morning drop-offs — it’s back to school time, and for many, that means more time behind the wheel.

While many of us have “fond” memories of riding to school on the bright yellow bus, many modern kids catch rides with their parents. Whether you’re dropping off children or just happen to drive by your local K–2, there are a few key back to school safety rules you should follow to keep you and our children safe.

5 back to school safety rules

  1. Put away distractions, including cell phones … and breakfast. In some areas, using your cell phone while driving can earn you a pretty steep fine.
  2. If you have children, make sure they ride in age-appropriate car seats or boosters — and make sure the seats are properly installed.
  3. Drive slowly — follow the posted speed limit, obey crossing guards, and watch closely for children who may unexpectedly dart across the road.
  4. Come to a full stop at lights and stop signs — no California rolls (or rolling stops). A full stop means stop, pause, then proceed.
  5. Obey school bus laws, which are designed to help protect children who are getting on or off the bus. When the red lights flash on the bus, you must stop, regardless of whether you are behind the bus or approaching the bus from the front. Wait until the lights stop flashing or the bus starts moving again to drive on.
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So along with early morning alarms, making school lunches, giving the kids snack money, and keeping track of homework, remember these simple safety pointers. And when you see that crossing guard — who might well be a volunteer — wave and smile. We all care about keeping our communities safe.

Did you know?

That iconic school bus color is officially known as “National School Bus Glossy Yellow” and was formulated in 1939? It was designed to make black lettering more visible in the sometimes misty morning light.

The first crossing guards went to work in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1923 to answer a growing concern for the safety of children walking to school.

Safe and smart | Travel hacks

about Kate

With more than 15 years’ communication experience, Kate’s a 10-year Esurance veteran, who’s spent the last 4 years as Internal Communications Manager. A transplanted New Yorker and one-time waitress, Kate was drawn to the Bay Area’s restaurant scene (where she likes to over-tip).