It seems like only yesterday that schools throughout Missouri finished their semesters, and kids began their summer vacations.
It seems like only yesterday that schools throughout Missouri finished their semesters, and kids began their summer vacations. Now, with all new books, backpacks, pencils and paper, our students all across the state are preparing for another school year, and many of them will be attending school for the first time. We've spent the summer rushing from place to place, from weddings to sporting events to concerts and everything in between. Now, we could all use a friendly reminder that, as the school year gets under way, there will be school buses picking up and dropping off children, as well as kids on bicycles and on foot, going to and from school and various school-related activities. August is “Back to School Safety Month,” as designated by Safe Kids USA, (www.safekids.org) and, along with the Missouri Department of Transportation, the organization offers a number of guidelines for both motorists and kids to ensure safe passage to their destinations during the school year: • Slow down – especially in residential neighborhoods and school zones. • Be alert. Kids running late may dart in front of a car without thinking. • Take extra time at intersections and curbs to look for students, especially in the mornings and afternoons. • Reduce driving distractions. This should go without saying, but put the cell phone away and refrain from texting or taking phone calls while driving. Reminder for kids: • Cross the street at corners or crosswalks, and pay attention to traffic signals. • Always walk in front of the school bus so the driver can see you. • Don't step onto or off of the bus until it comes to a complete stop, the door is opened, and the driver says it's okay to proceed. • Arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before schedule. Parents, talk to your children and practice basic safety rules and precautions. It's up to us to do our part to ensure the safety of our most valuable and vulnerable citizens. I wish all of you a healthy, happy and safe school year. Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting my website at www.senate.mo.gov/brown. Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.