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Back to school safety tips for kids and motorists from Amica Insurance

08/22/2011

LINCOLN, RI – Kids are heading back to school, so Amica Insurance reminds everyone to take extra care to keep children safe.

“It’s going to take time for everyone to get back into the school routine,” said Craig Phelps, senior assistant vice president with Amica Mutual Insurance Co. “Many children will be going off to school for the first time, so they may not be as careful as they should be when crossing streets or running for their buses. Others may feel more comfortable returning to school, but they also may be more likely to take risks, such as failing to look both ways when crossing the street.”

That’s why it’s so important to be extra vigilant this time of year, Phelps said, especially around school buses and bus stops.

The National Safety Council notes that most children who lose their lives in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, four to seven years old, who are hit by the bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus.

“The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit,” according to the NSC website, www.nsc.org. “Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children the necessary space to safely enter and exit the bus.”

That’s why Amica urges everyone – children, parents and motorists – to be alert. Here are a few tips:

Motorists should remember:

  • Slow down and be alert, especially in residential areas and school zones. Children are unpredictable.
  • Watch for children at intersections and near the road – especially in the morning and after school hours.
  • Take extra care when entering or exiting driveways.
  • Beware of children darting out from between parked cars.
  • Be careful when following or approaching a school bus, especially near school bus stops.
  • All 50 states require motorists in both directions on undivided roadways to stop for school buses that have stopped to let children enter or exit the bus.
  • Don’t pass a school bus on the right.

Parents and children should remember:

  • Try to cross streets at corners, using crosswalks and traffic signals when available.
  • Don’t run into a street or between parked cars.
  • Get to the bus stop early and stand well back from the curb, especially when the bus is approaching.
  • Walk in front of the bus so the driver can see you. Don’t board the bus until the driver says it’s okay.
  • If you drop something, tell the bus driver. Don’t reach for anything under or in front of a bus where a driver might not be able to see you.
  • Don’t talk to strangers at a bus stop, and don’t get into a stranger’s car.
  • Remove headphones and put away cell phones before crossing the street.
  • If you’re riding your bike to school, always wear a helmet and follow the “rules of the road.”

“We all need to work together to protect our children,” Phelps said. “Let’s get the school year off to a safe start.”

About Amica

Amica Mutual Insurance Company, the nation's oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, RI, is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,100 people in 40 offices across the country.

CONTACT:Vince Burks, Corporate Communications, 50 Amica Way,

Lincoln, RI 02865-1155, 800-652-6422, ext. 24563

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