School is back in session throughout the Carolinas which means many HOA communities are seeing an increase in traffic – both vehicular and foot. Kids are waiting at bus stops and walking to school, parents are rushing to drop kids off and get to work, and all of this can become a little chaotic. However, both the HOA and homeowners can be proactive in keeping everyone safer.
One way to raise awareness is to send a friendly reminder to homeowners. Let them know that now that school has started there are more kids out and about early in the morning and later in the afternoon, and buses are navigating the streets as well. They should:
- Reduce their speed while driving through the neighborhood, especially near street corners where bus stops are often located.
- Always stop for school buses and never try to pass while they are picking up or dropping off students.
- Stay alert for children who may dart into the street or cross elsewhere than at the corners.
Parents can also keep children safer by:
- Ensuring there is an adult waiting at the stop with children when possible.
- Reminding children to look both ways and proceed carefully when crossing the street.
- Safely buckling children up when in the car, whether in a car seat, booster seat, or the back seat.
If your community is within walking or biking distance of a school:
- Remind parents and students to stay on the sidewalk and look both ways before crossing any intersections.
- Wait for crosswalk signs to indicate it is safe to cross.
- Always wear a helmet if riding a bicycle and walk the bike across intersections.
- Follow instructions from crossing guards or other safety personnel.
Remember that it may still be fairly dark during early morning hours, so turn on your headlights and use extra caution when driving. Allowing for extra time in case of slow traffic due to buses or dismissal can reduce rushing and enhance safety. In the afternoon, children are often excited for the school day to be over and rushing to get home, so they may not be as alert to potential dangers or are distracted talking to friends. Remind your children of proper safety procedures, but also stay alert for pedestrians and other vehicles to keep everyone safe.
Kuester can help your HOA create and distribute helpful communications to homeowners and also implement improved safety measures. Start the school year off right and keep families safe year-round. Contact Kuester today to learn more about how we can support your HOA community.