Char Bielema mug.jpg

Charlene Bielema

Associated Press

It’s that time of year again.

School is in session.

And because of that, a lot of traffic is taking to the streets in the form of cars and buses in neighborhoods and children walking from home to school and back again.

Today, I want to use this space to spread a little caution — be careful when navigating in traffic.

Sometimes kids don’t use the best judgment and can end up out on the street where they are least expected.

­So slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones; take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs; proceed with caution when driving near alleys and driveways; watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours; and reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

This also means putting down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving.

Then there are the buses. Pay attention to their lights and signs and act appropriately. I always am reminded this time of year how, when I was a new reporter,  I would annually get calls from Clinton schools’ transportation director to remind people to pay attention to the warning signals on the bus.

And of course anytime school starts there will be new, young drivers behind the wheel getting to class. Remember to be alert for those drivers too.

That leads me to safety rules children hopefully are following: Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks; don’t run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars; and always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see you.

So everybody, be careful out there.

Our future depends on it.

Charlene Bielema is the Clinton Herald’s editor.

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