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Newton Police Department

Posted on: August 3, 2023

Tips for Drivers Sharing the Road

bus stop

As drivers, we are responsible for ensuring the safety of those around us. This means being aware of and following traffic laws and being mindful of pedestrians, cyclists, and children in residential and school zones. To help you be a more cautious and responsible driver, we have compiled a list of tips to remember while on the road. Following these guidelines can help prevent accidents and keep everyone safe.

Sharing the Road with Pedestrians

  • 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 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

Sharing the Road with Bikes

  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist.
  • Watch for bike riders turning before you without looking or signaling; children tend 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

Sharing the Road with Buses

  • It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children; never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children.
  • Traffic must stop if the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended.
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to enter and exit the bus safely.
  • Be alert; children are often unpredictable, and they ignore hazards and take risks.

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