Police are asking motorists to take extra care this week as some children attend school for the first time.
Officers say going to school will be a new experience for many local children, and motorists should not presume they have their own safety uppermost in their minds.
Drivers are asked not to assume a child knows what he or she is doing.
"If drivers are prepared for children to do what they least expect them to, many potential incidents between cars and young pedestrians can be avoided," a spokesman said.
Police say motorists should be aware of children at all times, but particularly during early morning and mid-afternoon when pupils will be walking to and from school.
They say itís important that all road users and pedestrians are alert to the potential dangers that face them every time they start their journey.
Police say a few simple steps when travelling to and from school could help reduce accidents.
- Always find a safe place to cross the road.
- If possible use a school crossing.
- Where visibility conditions are poor bright or fluorescent clothes should be worn.
- At night reflective material enables someone to be seen from three times the usual distance.
- Be alert to other pedestrians and road users.
- Always be alert.
- Do not speed.
- Make sure everyone wears a seat belt.
- Always park considerately.
Police say that when motorists pass through areas with schools either on their journey or during a school drop off, they should follow the few simple steps listed above.
- Keep clear until the bus has stopped.
- Remain seated on the bus.
- Do not distract the driver.
- Wait until the bus has moved off before crossing the road carefully.
Always wear a helmet.
Use arm signals.
Make sure other road users can see you and that your lights work.
Officers say many children will be cycling to school and it is important that they do so safely. In Hertfordshire last year there were 10 serious casualties and 107 slight casualties to cyclists under the age of 18.
1 September 2003