Extra Credit: School Zone Safety

AAA offers seven back-to-school tips for drivers, students

Phoenix, July 30, 2013. AAA is reminding motorists who have had a summer vacation from school zones that class is back in session. 

“A new school year brings a lot of excitement, so it’s easy for children to become preoccupied on their way to and from school,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public relations for AAA Arizona. “As a leader in traffic safety, AAA reminds all drivers use extra caution when traveling near schools, especially as the school year begins.”

Safety advocate AAA has wants parents to keep the ABCs of safety in mind as Arizona children head back to the classroom:

  • Avoid distractions: Research from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. Stay focused on driving and set a good example for young passengers.
  • By the numbers: Teach children their home phone number and address, your work phone number and how to dial 911.
  • Chart your course: Map out a route to school or the bus stop and walk it with your child beforehand. Choose a direct route with the fewest street crossings or with intersections that have crossing guards. Avoid walking by parks, vacant lots and other sparsely populated places.
  • Don a helmet: Kids who bicycle always should wear a helmet. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent.
  • Exemplify safety: Do not exceed 15 miles per hour in or near a school zone. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 15 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed as compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 25 mph. Remember that fines double when “STOP WHEN CHILDREN IN CROSSWALK” signs are present. Also remember, school zones are non-passing zones. Always stop for buses that are loading or unloading students. It is illegal to pass a school bus with flashing red lights.
  • Forego strangers: Teach kids never to accept rides or gifts from strangers.
  • Grab a buddy: Have kids walk to school with a relative, friend or neighbor.


If your child will be walking or bicycling to school, AAA advises parents and caregivers to review safety precautions with them. Children should be taught to walk only on sidewalks and cross only at crosswalks. Also, make sure they know to avoid walking in front of or between parked cars. And, remind children to always obey the crossing guard.

If your teen will be learning to drive this school year, AAA’s teen driver website, Keys2Drive, provides state-specific licensing information, statistics, driver training tips and resources for parents and teens.

If you’re adding your teen to your AAA Insurance, save up to 24 percent on your teen’s policy with their successful completion of the teenSMART program. This computer-based driver safety program can makes your teen driver three times safer on the road. Additionally, AAA offers free, Permit Prep 101 workshops for parents and teens throughout the year.

AAA is a go-to source for traffic safety information. Visit AAA.com/trafficsafety to learn more.

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 840,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.