Cape Town schools are opening tomorrow and slowing down should be priority as back to school means sharing the road. It's never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.
Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. Don't double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles. Don't load or unload children across the street from the school. Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.
A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:
Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
Don't honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way
When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
If you're turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
Check side mirrors before opening your door
By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.