Back to School Safety

The Niles Police Department wants to remind everyone that the school year is fast approaching. As a reminder for everyone and to reduce the risk for all the Niles Police Department wants to offer these helpful tips. Whether you are a parent, student, pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorist these tips can make your commute a safe accident free experience.

Attempted Abduction Travel Safety Tips for Parents and Students
Whether they walk, ride the bus, or travel by car, teach your kids these few tips to ensure they get to and from school safely.

Safety on the Bus

  • Line up facing the bus, not alongside it.
  • Do not play in the street while waiting for the bus.
  • Carry all loose belongings in a bag or backpack.
  • Never reach under the school bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen beneath it. The bus driver may be sitting too high up to see you.
  • After getting off the bus, move immediately onto the sidewalk and out of traffic. If there is no sidewalk, try to stay as far to the side of the road as possible.
  • Wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing the street. Walk at least 10 steps away from the front of the bus so the driver can see you.
  • Never cross the street or play behind the school bus.

Safety on Foot

  • Never walk or ride alone; always travel with a buddy.
  • Pay attention to all traffic signals and crossing guards along the way. Never cross the street against a stop light.
  • Look both ways before you cross the street.
  • Always wear brightly colored clothing so that drivers can easily see you.
  • Parents should always know the route that their child walks to and from school.
StopSafety on a Bicycle
  • The single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes is a helmet.
    • Make it a rule: every time you and your child ride a bike, wear a bicycle helmet that meets the safety standards developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    • If your child is reluctant to wear a helmet, try letting him or her choose his own.
  • Helmet fit is important.
    • Make sure the helmet fits and your child knows how to put it on correctly. A helmet should sit on top of the head in a level position, and should not rock forward, backward or side to side. The helmet straps must always be buckled but not too tightly.
  • Try the eyes, ears, and mouth test.
    • Eyes check - Position the helmet on your head. Look up and you should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
    • Ears check - Make sure the straps of the helmet form a "V" under your ears when buckled. The strap should be snug but comfortable.
    • Mouth check - Open your mouth as wide as you can. Do you feel the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten those straps and make sure the buckle is flat against your skin.
  • Always model and teach proper behavior. Learn the rules of the road, and obey all traffic laws.
    • Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against. Stay as far to the right as possible.
    • Use appropriate hand signals.
    • Respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stop lights.
    • Stop and look left, right and left again before entering a street or crossing an intersection. Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left.
No Texting in School ZoneMotorist Tips
All drivers need to recognize the special safety needs of pedestrians, especially those that are children. Young, elderly, disabled, and intoxicated pedestrians are the most frequent victims in auto-pedestrian collisions. Generally, pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections; however, regardless of the rules of the road or right of way, you as a driver are obligated to exercise great care and extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians.

Drivers should not block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. Do not stop with a portion of your vehicle over the crosswalk. Blocking the crosswalk forces pedestrians to go around your vehicle and puts them in a dangerous situation. In a school zone when a warning flasher or flashers are blinking, you must stop to yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.

Always stop when directed to do so by a school patrol sign, school patrol officer, or designated crossing guard. Children are the least predictable pedestrians and the most difficult to see. Take extra care to look out for children not only in school zones, but also in residential areas, playgrounds, and parks. Don’t honk your horn, rev your engine or do anything to rush or scare a pedestrian in front of your car, even if you have the legal right of way.