NHTSA 39-12
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Contact: Karen Aldana, 202-366-9550


WASHINGTON – As summer draws to a close and students return to school, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the popular characters from animated series Chuggington™ are reminding parents, caregivers and students to put safety at the top of their "back-to-school" to do list.

According to NHTSA data, 2,847 school-aged children were killed in traffic related crashes in 2010. A greater proportion of those deaths occurred in the afternoon, between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., than any other time of day.

As part of the nationwide traffic safety campaign, Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe! students are encouraged to take the following safety precautions whether traveling to school by bus, foot, bike or car.

School Bus
  • Wait five giant steps from the road and when the school bus arrives wait until the driver says to board.
  • When boarding the school bus, go straight to your seat and sit facing the front and do what the school bus driver tells you.
  • When exiting the bus, look out for cars. When you're off, take 5 giant steps from the school bus.
  • Look left-right-left to make sure no cars are coming and wait for the driver to signal it's safe to cross.
Walk
  • Walk on the sidewalk and if there is none, walk facing traffic.
  • Do not push or shove others when you walk.
  • When crossing the street, look left-right-left for cars and do not cross if a car is coming and use a cross walk if you can.
Bicycle
  • Always wear a helmet and make sure to buckle your chin strap.
  • Ride on bike paths or on the sidewalk. Do not ride in the street.

Parents who choose to drive their children to school or daycare are reminded to carefully secure each child in the proper child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt, based on the child's age and size and Look Before You Lock ensure that no child is inadvertently left behind in a motor vehicle. Finally, adult and teens – whether they are passengers or drivers – should also buckle up, because wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to avoid serious injury or death in the event of a crash.

For additional safety tips and to access information about the Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe! Campaign click here. The site also includes interactive tools and a chance for students to earn official Chuggington Traffic Safety Badges” by pledging to put safety first.