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The original item was published from 8/15/2016 11:24:51 AM to 9/4/2016 12:00:00 AM.

News Flash

Public Safety News

Posted on: August 15, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Students Return to School on Thursday; Drivers Asked to Use Caution in School Zones

The City of Twin Falls is reminding citizens that most students will return to school Thursday, Aug. 18, so drivers should slow down and use caution near all school zones and crosswalks. The Twin Falls Police Department will increase enforcement in school zones to prevent injury to students, parents, and school staff.

The posted speed limit in school zones during school hours is typically 20 miles per hour, but some school zones and crosswalks along state highways — such as Second Avenue North — may be posted at 25 miles per hour. In all cases, drivers must yield to students and pedestrians crossing within a crosswalk, and they must stop when crossing guards enter the crosswalk to safely escort students across the street.

In addition, parents are reminded to not park or block designated bicycle lanes, which are marked with a white dividing line and bicycle. Blocking bicycle lanes forces students and cyclists to merge with vehicle traffic on roadways, which creates a significant hazard to both cyclists and drivers.

Parents should teach their children these three simple steps to safely cross streets:
- Always cross within a designated crosswalk that is marked with crossing signs and white stripes on the roadway. Never cross a street outside of a designated crosswalk.
- Stop and look both ways for oncoming vehicles. Pedestrians should wait for oncoming vehicles to stop before stepping into the crosswalk. If a crossing guard is posted at the crosswalk, wait for their directions before proceeding.
- Make eye contact with drivers to ensure that they are aware and not distracted.

Parents should also prepare their children for emergencies by teaching them the following:
- Reinforce ‘stranger danger’ — saying no to strangers who make your child feel scared or uncomfortable, and to quickly getting away while yelling ‘this is not my parent’
- Develop a family safety plan for emergencies, which includes: identifying designated meeting places outside of the house, emergency contact information, and supplying a first aid kit in the child’s bag or backpack
- Work with your child to memorize their route to-and-from school, with designated ‘safe zones’ such as schools and community centers
- Have your child get to know other children and parents in your neighborhood and ensure that your child uses the ‘buddy system’ when walking to and from school

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