DOT's Safety Education team fit and distributed over 1,500 NYC Bicycle Helmets during DOT's Summer Streets program this August.
Back to School Safety Tips
Your child may walk to and from school or ride on a school bus or a car. Whatever way she or he gets there, these safety tips will help make the trip a safer one:
If you drive to school���
If you walk to school���
- Obey the speed limit. SCHOOL X-ING markings, ladder-striped crosswalks and yellow-green school signs let you know that you are in a school zone.
- Be alert for children walking, and especially for children who may dart out suddenly into the street. Be patient as you wait for them to cross.
- If you drive your child to school, wait to make sure they get inside safely. Better yet, park in a legal space and walk with them to the entrance area.
- Double parking, stopping on crosswalks or interfering with school bus drop-offs and pick-ups adds to traffic congestion around the school and can block visibility for pedestrians and other drivers. Park in a safe spot on your way to and from school.
- Be sure that everyone buckles up in the car on every trip. Children under age 7 and under 4' 9" tall should travel in the appropriate car seat or booster. Older children, teens and adults should always wear a safety belt.
- Children under age 13 are safest riding in the back seat.
If you take the bus���
- Map out the safest route to school and practice walking it before the school year begins. School safety maps for elementary and middle schools in New York City are available online.
- The maps show school locations and the traffic safety signals, signs and markings, including designated school crosswalks, in the school zone. The ladder striped school crosswalks provide the maximum degree of safety for children going to and from school because the stripes make the crosswalk more visible to drivers.
- Teach your children to stop, look and listen before crossing, even if the pedestrian signal shows the white walking figure, and to keep scanning for turning vehicles as they cross.
- Listening to music, talking or texting on cell phones and playing video games as they walk are distractions that can make your child oblivious to what's happening about him or her. Be sure they leave them off while walking.
Share the road safely whenever and wherever you walk, drive or ride!
- Be a safe pedestrian on the way to and from the bus stop. Follow the pedestrian safety tips listed above.
- Leave home early enough to avoid running to make the bus. Wait on the sidewalk until the bus stops before approaching it to get on.
- Remain in clear view of the bus driver-walk at least ten steps away from the bus before crossing and avoid walking behind the bus or close to its wheels or sides.
More Back to School Resources on the Web
NYCDOT's Safety Education Page
NYCDOT's Safe Routes to School Program
Safe Kids Worldwide Pedestrian Safety Tips
American Academy of Pediatrics Back to School Tips
NHTSA's Walk to School Tips for Preschool and Elementary School Children
To receive a monthly e-mail with safety tips from DOT's Office of Safety Education, sign-up at www.nyc.gov/dotnews.
DOT Safety Education Events
Free Car Seat Checks
Is your child car seat installed properly? 9 out of 10 car seats are not. Find out if yours is. DOT offers free car seat checks at which a trained car seat technician will check your seat and demonstrate correct installation. These community car-seat checks are free of charge and no appointment is necessary.
Monday, September 15
Babies R Us
2655 Richmond Avenue, Staten Island
Wednesday, September 17
Babies R Us, Gateway Mall
395 Gateway Drive, Brooklyn
Saturday, September 20
Chevrolet-Saturn of Harlem
2485 Second Avenue at 127th Street, Manhattan.
If you cannot attend any of these events, call 311 for an appointment for a free inspection at a DOT Child Car Seat Fitting Station. Locations can be found on the DOT Web site. Walk-ins are not accepted.
Child Passenger Safety Training Workshop
This 32-hour program is excellent for anyone working at government agencies, health care facilities or not-for-profit community-based organizations involved in child passenger safety - health and safety educators, law enforcement officers, nurses, community leaders, and fire and emergency medical personnel. Individuals who successfully complete this program will achieve the requirements for certification as Child Passenger Safety Technicians.
Hosted by the Department of Transportation Office of Safety Education, September 9 - 12, 2008 from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM at Access Safety City, 672 W. 158th Street in Manhattan. Register online.
NYCDOT Bike Helmet Giveaway and Fitting
Safe Kids of NYC at the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club's "Day for Kids"
Saturday, September 20 from 11 am - 4 pm at 1930 Randall Avenue, the Bronx.
You must be present to get a helmet and you must learn how to properly fit and wear it before you receive it. Adults over 18 receiving a helmet must sign a waiver, and a parent or legal guardian must be present to sign a waiver for children under age 18. Supplies are limited. If you cannot attend any of these events you can schedule a fitting for an NYC helmet at one of the DOT's Safety Cities by calling 311.
For a complete list of events see NYCDOT's event calendar.