Slow down and take it easy.

That’s a good way to sum up the best advice for roadway safety as summer ends and our students return to school.

Instead of empty shoulders lining our roads, there are likely to be schoolkids out there waiting for buses or headed home after getting off of buses.

And when it comes to those buses, give them plenty of room to do their duty of getting children back and forth to school safely each day.

When a bus is stopped to take in or let off its precious cargo, you have to stop too.

Unless you are on a divided highway, when a school bus going in the opposite direction stops with its warning signs out, cars behind it and those that are coming toward it must stop.

It’s the law. But more importantly, it’s a good, safe practice.

Local police officials have warned motorists that bus drivers can report offenders, who can then be ticketed.

They also remind us that school zones are also hands-free device zones. That means hang up your cell phone before you let off or pick up your children. This is for the good of everyone.

It should go without saying that we’re all better off if we keep our minds on driving when we are behind the wheel.

Cell phones and other distractions create hazards that really can claim innocent lives.

Finally, officers say that with summer ending, there will be more school-aged children walking or biking alongside local roads. Keep an eye out for them.

Remember that school buses and the children they carry aren’t impediments to traffic. They are using the roads to perform a vital task.

They deserve no less than our careful attention and caution.

AAA offers these tips for keeping you, your children and those around you safe. They are always good rules of thumb but particularly so at this time of year:

-- Slow down: Abide by the speed limit in school zones.

-- Come to a complete stop: Don’t roll through stop signs.

-- Eliminate distractions: Children can be unpredictable, so keep your eyes on the road.

-- Reverse responsibly: Check for children on the sidewalk, the driveway and around your vehicle before backing up.

-- Watch for bicycles: Allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a rider.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.