La Porte Community students go back-to-school today. La Porte Police gave out some safety reminders to help us all get back into the rhythm of things:
• Slow down. Honor the posted school zone speed limits and observe for children in or near roadways.
• Don’t drive distracted. Children can suddenly cross the street, or dart out from between parked vehicles. Cell phone use in school zones is prohibited by City of La Porte ordinance and is posted as such.
• Come to a complete stop. Check carefully for children on sidewalks and crosswalks before proceeding.
• Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes aren’t always experienced riders. They are sometimes unsteady and unpredictable. When passing a bike rider, slow down and allow at least 3 feet passing distance between yourself and the bicyclist.
• Do not park on or across sidewalks. This is prohibited by City ordinance and forces pedestrians to walk in the street where they are less safe from vehicular traffic.
• STOP for the bus arm. When a school bus is stopped and has its stop arm activated with red lights flashing, drivers are also required to STOP, even when approaching from an opposite direction. The only exception is if you are on a multi-lane highway that is divided either by a physical barrier or an unpaved space (median). No barrier or paved median = STOP.
• STOP for school crossing guards. When a school crossing guard displays a stop sign in the crosswalk, drivers are required to STOP.
Parents and Students
• Use the sidewalk. Teach your child to walk on the sidewalk to and from school where they are provided. If children must walk in the street where sidewalks are not available, teach them to walk as close to the curb or shoulder of the road as possible and in the opposite direction of traffic flow.
• Cross only at intersections. Teach children to cross the street only at intersections where they are the most visible to motorists. If there is a school crossing guard present, let them know they are to follow the crossing guard’s instructions and only cross when they are instructed to do so.
• No horseplay near the street or vehicles. Teach your child not to play around or in between vehicles.
• Know your child’s route. If you child walks or rides to/from school, know their route. Teach them to use this route and what to do if they start to feel unsafe or believe they are being followed. Tell them not to go with anyone you have not authorized them to go with, or enter someone’s vehicle without your permission beforehand.
• Teen drivers. If you have a teen driver, review the rules of the road with them and require they follow any restrictions on their driver’s license and wear seat-belts. According to AAA, “car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens in the U.S., and nearly one in four fatal crashes occur during the after- school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.” For evidence-based guidance and tips visit