Another school year has arrived and the community wants it to be enjoyable for students, parents and teachers.

The Marana Police Department and Marana Unified School District are working together to ensure that children have a safe year. There are precautions for students of all ages. Whether their children are riding the bus, walking, biking or driving, parents should emphasize these tips when discussing safety with their kids.

Students who ride the bus to school should:

• Stand at least six feet from the curb.

• Make sure the driver can see them at all times before boarding or after departing.

• Never walk behind the bus.

• Never try to retrieve something from under the bus or near its wheels.

Students who walk to school should:

• Be aware of their surroundings and always go with a friend or relative. Parents should practice walking to school with their children.

• Stay on the sidewalk when one is available. If they must walk on the street, they should do so facing traffic.

• Stop and look all ways to see if traffic is coming before crossing the street.

• Never run out in front of a parked car. Other vehicles won’t be able to see them.

Students who bike to school should:

• Always wear helmets.

• Ride on the right side of the road in single file.

• Come to a complete stop before crossing the street.

• Wear bright colors and avoid riding alone at night.

Students who drive to school should:

• Always wear safety belts.

• Leave for school with enough time to deal with traffic congestion and unexpected delays. A good rule of thumb is if the driving time is 15 minutes, double that and leave 30 minutes before they need to be there.

• Slow down. Speeding is the leading cause of accidents among student drivers.

• Minimize distractions. Turn the radio off. Put the cell phone down. Pull over if you have to apply makeup or eat. Don’t hesitate to silence loud passengers or postpone a conversation in order to focus on driving.

Parents can help police by talking to their children about traffic safety, stranger danger and other issues.

The police department has reinstated its school resource officer program at Marana High School and Marana Middle School. These two officers will be on campus at all times to emphasize safety and build positive relationships with students, faculty and parents. Above all, the police department is here to serve the community.

Children are our most precious resource. They deserve our full commitment and attention to ensure they remain safe on and off campus.

(Editor’s Note: Terry Rozema is Marana’s chief of police.)

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