Driving near schools – keep it safe

June 12, 2019

We work with our insurers to promote good practice to our clients, this latest information has been brought to us from QBE and it covers the extremely important issue of driving near schools.

This report contains guidance on the unique driving challenges that driving near schools can bring. The following information should prove useful in helping you stay safe when driving in these areas.

As well as seeing it here, you can download a copy that can be given direct to relevant staff members.

Driving near schools

Roads around schools get busy at drop off and pick up time and the hazards increase significantly: poorly parked cars, school buses, children on cycles, scooters and on foot who are more interested in running over the road to see friends than looking out for your vehicle. This guidance note is a timely reminder that journeys near schools need particular care, especially when the children go back to the classroom.

Stop those distractions

Many vehicle collisions and road safety incidents are caused by the driver being distracted, even momentarily. This is true on any road at any time but when driving past a school at drop off, lunchtime or pick up time, it’s even more important to avoid distractions and concentrate on the road.

You can make your journey safer when you’re at the wheel by not:

  • Eating, drinking or smoking
  • Reading maps
  • Playing loud music
  • Attempting to tune the radio
  • Getting involved with distracting conversations with passengers
  • Using in-vehicle technology or mobile phones

Safe delivery

You may need to park near the school, particularly if you are making a delivery. In this case, please remember the following recommendations:

Do not double park because it:

  • Obstructs the vision of other drivers
  • Obstructs the view of pedestrians
  • Obstructs the traffic flow
  • Do not obstruct footpaths

Do not park illegally:

  • On a school crossing
  • On a school drive
  • On school keep clear lines
  • Always observe the parking signs outside schools
  • Avoid the need to reverse the vehicle

Drive past safely

In most cases, when a vehicle moving at 40mph hits a child, the child is killed. So when driving past a busy school gate, keep your speed down. You don’t know when a child might rush out into the road in front of you.

Remember to:

  • Drive slowly and keep well within the speed limit for the road
  • Leaving as much space between road and pavement as possible to give time to react if a child runs out.
  • Be aware that children may be out of school outside of the start and finish of school time on activities.
  • If your vehicle is being used to drop children off then ensure that they leave by a door facing the pavement, not the road.
  • Drive particularly carefully near school buses. Give them space to manoeuvre and be aware that children may run out from behind these vehicles.
  • Do not overtake vehicles near the school
  • Drive slowly past school buses as a child may dart out from behind the bus
  • Do not make U turns
  • Signal clearly in plenty of time and cancel them after the manoeuvre

Stop at school crossings and do not proceed until:

  • The school crossing patrol supervisor’s sign is no longer displayed
  • The crossing patrol supervisor indicates that you can proceed

If the crossing is unsupervised:

  • Stop at the crossing when pedestrians are wanting to cross
  • Remain stationary until the pedestrians are clear of the crossing

General recommendations

If you know your route takes you past a school gate, try and plan your journey so you take a different route or pass the school during a quiet period. It is also prudent to build in extra journey time if you know you need to pass a school at a busy time.

Remember to drive slowly, be aware of children on bikes and child pedestrians who are unsupervised and who could run into the road. Following the recommendations of this guidance note will dramatically reduce the risk of children being injured by your driving activities.

Tech Guide for driving near schools

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