Alger County Sheriff urges safety when heading back to school

Whether they’re ready or not, Alger County students are headed back to the classroom. And the Alger County Sheriff’s Office wants them to make it there in one piece.

Of the 301 school-age children killed from 2006 to 2015 in school-transportation-related crashes in the U.S., 102 were pedestrians and eight were pedal cyclists, according to the most recent available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

With more than 6 public schools in Alger County, drivers and pedestrians alike need to put their phones away and pay attention to their surroundings, Sheriff Todd Brock said.

Deputies will be monitoring school zones, but here are some additional tips from the Sheriff’s Office for a safe trip back to school: If you drive your children to school:

Be sure to use the appropriate parent dropoff/ pick-up area. Once at the school, please follow the instructions of the school’s staff.

Drive defensively. Always anticipate the possibility that a small child may dart in front of your vehicle. Be prepared to stop at all times.

Slow down and watch out for school zones and children walking or biking to school or congregating near bus stops. Also, be alert for student drivers.

R emember that buses will be making frequent stops. It’s not only dangerous to students, but it’s against the law to pass a school bus while it’s stopped on the roadway picking up or dropping off students.

When turning at an intersection, be sure to yield to pedestrians and cyclists.

If you’re a student riding the bus:

Stay out of the street while waiting for the bus and allow the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the bus from the curb.

Make sure you remain in clear view of the bus driver. Never walk behind the bus.

Look both ways before getting on the bus and after getting off.

After getting off the bus, look both ways and then move immediately onto the sidewalk and out of traffic.

If you’re a student walking or biking to school:

For bike riders, wear a properly-fitted helmet at all times. Also, riders should use a bike that’s the right size for them and make sure that they don’t have any loose clothing, drawstrings or shoelaces.

Bike riders should ride on the right, in the same direction as traffic, and use appropriate hand signals. Bicyclists also should respect traffic lights and stop signs.

Walk on sidewalks where available and always cross at intersections.

Sheriff Brock would like to welcome all Alger County students back to school, and hope all students have a safe and successful school year!