Parent and student walking on sidewalk next to school buses

Naperville Police Give Safety Tips As Kids Head Back To School

August 11, 2022
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As kids gear up to head back to school, the Naperville Police Department (NPD) is offering some tips to help them do so safely.

Review The Basics

Parents should do a review with their kids to make sure they know their home address as well as their parents’ or emergency contact’s phone number. If kids will be walking or biking to school, it’s good to do a run through of the route before the first day arrives. And if the child will be riding the bus, make time for a walk together to see where their stop is. Reviewing their bus number is also a good idea.

Stick Together

The NPD reminds parents that there is safety in numbers. Kids should be using the buddy system, walking to and from school with one or more friends, and should stick with a group when they are waiting at a bus stop.

Children who are riding their bike to school should be wearing a helmet and reflective clothing. Staying on a sidewalk when possible is also encouraged. Bikers as well as walkers should be sticking to designated Safe Walk Routes, and follow the guidance of crossing guards. They should also obey all traffic signals and signs, and stay within crosswalks.

Parents should make sure kids know the “Say NO, GO and TELL,” safety rule. If someone approaches the child and offers them a rides, asks questions like how to get somewhere, or just makes them uncomfortable, they should say “NO.” They then should get away from the area (“GO”) and find a trusted adult and TELL them what happened. Make sure you’ve reviewed with the child who trusted adults might be, such as police officers, a teacher, or a known neighbor.

Any students who are going to be on their own after school taking care of themselves should review safety material found on the city of Naperville website, so they can better stay safe when they are home alone.

Motorists: Stay Alert

Motorists can do their part by staying extra alert, keeping an eye out for kids who may be on sidewalks, streets or crossing the block. The NPD reminds them to watch for school speed zones and obey them accordingly. They also stress that it is illegal to proceed around a school bus that has its stop sign arm engaged. Extra caution in general should be used when near a bus that is loading or unloading students.

Parents doing drop-off or teen drivers heading to school should pay close attention to school traffic and parking plans. And parents of teen drivers are encourage to remind their student drivers about the importance of staying alert, avoiding distractions and following traffic rules.

As you head out, allow extra time for travel so that you aren’t rushed. Make sure to pay close attention to traffic signals and stop signs and come to a complete stop when indicated. Then before proceeding, take a careful look around to make sure no children are in the crosswalk. Also watch for crossing guards and student safety patrols and obey their commands. And the NPD stresses to motorists to turn their focus solely on driving when they are en route somewhere. Texting, eating, and grooming while driving are all distractions that can lead to accidents. The state of Illinois bans the use of all hand-held devices while driving, as well as texting while driving.

Lock Up

And finally, if parked at school or a daycare, make sure to remove any valuables from the vehicle, even if you’ll just be going in for a short time.

More Info:

Further guidelines and details on school safety can be found an the Naperville Police Department’s “A Safer Naper” website.

Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.

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