NEW YORK CITY, NY, USA – JULY 07, 2015: School bus in Manhattan. NYC has the largest school transportation department in the country.
The Labor Day Weekend arrives in early September this year, with schools expected to re-open the following week. Both situations create challenges for drivers, so we are providing tips a little early, to help ensure the safety of the city’s children, as well as drivers who could face dangerous conditions.
Labor Day Weekend
This year, Labor Day is Monday, September 6 and the weekend preceding it can be dangerous for drivers, as the number of fatal and catastrophic accidents increase due to an increase in people driving while intoxicated.
- Use caution and be prepared to use your best defensive driving skills if you observe an apparent drunk or impaired driver.
- Do not confront a driver impaired by drugs or alcohol. Instead, call 911 to report them if you see one on the highway or on city streets.
- Traffic volume increases after Labor Day so be patient and be prepared to plan alternate routes to help your passengers arrive safely to their destinations in the timeliest possible manner.
- Be patient if you are delayed by a DWI police checkpoint. Their goal is to save you and your passengers from harm, should an impaired driver be operating a vehicle illegally.
Back-to-School Driving Tips
After a long and arduous year marked by Covid, children are scheduled to return to school in New York City on Monday, Sept 13. You can expect delays and confusion as children and parents try to get back to something resembling what was once their usual routine. Aside from pedestrians, there will be kids on bikes hurrying to get to school, harried parents trying to drop their kids off before work, etc.
- Respect the big yellow bus. Driving a school bus can be stressful, particularly this year. Do your part to make bus drivers’ lives easier. Yield when they are attempting to merge and maintain a significant distance behind them, as they often make unexpected stops.
- Get in the zone.Be sure to abide by school zone speed limits and keep a careful eye out for children, in particular. Speed limits aren’t just for school hours – consider after-school marching band practice, late night football games, and other events.
- When dropping kids off, remember that curbs are reserved for buses and emergency vehicles, so please don’t loiter. If you need a few extra minutes during the drop-off, turn on your hazard lights.
- 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. Also: Take extra care near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.
- Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign. And never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
- Lay off the horn. Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.
- Always remember to STOP if you are approaching a school bus with a stop sign, or flashing red lights, either from the front or behind. It is the LAW.
- Dangerous tech. Watch out for children walking and looking at their hand-held devices.