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Back to School Safety

Date: 08/23/19
Contacts: Lieutenant Joe Messerich, (563) 589-4473
                  Assistant Chief Jeremy Jensen, (563) 589-4444

With school starting next week, the Dubuque Police Department would like to remind motorists, parents/guardians and students of the following safety tips:

Motorists are reminded to slow down and increase vigilance, especially in and around school zones and crosswalks. Please watch your speed and stay off your phone.

Do not pass a school bus (from either direction) while red flashing lights are engaged and the stop arm deployed. A violation of this law requires a mandatory court appearance and may result in a fine up to $675 and 30 days in jail.  

Dubuque Police will have an increased presence and enforcement effort in and around school zones next week and throughout the year as needed.

Please share the following safety tips with your students:

School Bus Safety
  • Arrive at the bus stop early to avoid running across the street to catch the bus.
  • Wait for the bus to stop before approaching from the curb.
  • Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver and make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street.
  • Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or school.
  • Do not assume other drivers see you or will stop for the stop arm.
  • Do not move around once seated on the bus.
Private Transportation
Bicycle Riders
  • Always wear a helmet, no matter how long or short the ride.
  • Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility. 
  • If you must ride on the street, ride on the right in the same direction as vehicular traffic, use appropriate hand signals and obey all traffic laws.
  • Watch for vehicles and don’t assume they see you just because you can see them.
  • Secure “cargo” as to not interfere with the safe operation of the bicycle.
  • Make sure your child’s route to school is safe.
  • Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills and carefully consider whether your child is ready to walk to school unsupervised.
  • If your child is young and/or is walking to a new school, walk with them during the first week or so to make sure they know the route and can get there safely. Show them how to safely cross the street, places they can run to in the event of an emergency, and areas to avoid. 
  • Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
  • Teach your child to cross the street within crosswalks and/or at intersections, and to watch for vehicles while they are crossing.
As always, make sure your child knows the dangers associated with talking to strangers and teach him or her how to respond to such situations. Also, ensure that your child knows where to go after school and how to get there. Remind him or her that deviating from the after-school plan without your permission is dangerous and unacceptable.

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