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PennDOT, AAA Warn Drivers To Slow Down As Kids Head Back To School

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Students are heading back to school this month and with some districts facing a bus driver shortage, it could lead to more students walkers. That's why AAA and PennDOT have teamed up to remind drivers to be cautious on the road.

Schools like West View Elementary are considered walking schools, meaning the school doesn't use buses for transportation. That's just one reason PennDOT is stressing pedestrian safety as students head back to class. Law enforcement says they see people speeding way too often, especially in school zones.

Since 2016, there have been 75 fatalities in Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties that involve pedestrians, and PennDOT says they're trying to prevent the next one from being a child.

PennDOT says there are crucial conversations to be had with children about rules of the road and AAA gave some advice to drivers.

"Leave early, give yourself plenty of time. Get your head out of your phone, out of your radio, out of breakfast, out of doing your hair, whatever it is you're doing in the car and focus on driving", said Jim Garrity, the Director of Public Affairs for AAA East Central. "Lives are at stake. Not just yours but the lives of parents, children, bicyclists."

Parents are urged to teach their children simple walking safety tips like looking both ways, using crosswalks and staying alert.

You can find tips for both pedestrians and motorists here.

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