Tips / News

Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road

5-5-SlowSchool  Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road 5 5 SlowSchool

School days bring congestion: Yellow school buses are picking up their charges, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.

If You’re Dropping Off

Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:

  • Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
  • Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school
  • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

  • 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
  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
  • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
  • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
  • If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
  • Check side mirrors before opening your door


By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.


Traffic relief improvements made in time to help “Beat the School Jam”

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HONOLULU – As part of the annual “Beat the School Jam” campaign, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) detailed the implementation of several projects that will help alleviate traffic. It continues the HDOT focus on safety and system preservation projects that use far less money and time to finish. “We are committed to working within […] Source: Hawaii DOT Highways

New shoulder lane on H-1 Freeway eastbound will benefit Leeward Oahu commuters

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is pleased to announce the opening of a shoulder which will be used as a lane of travel during the morning commute hours. The new shoulder lane is on the H-1 Freeway eastbound and begins after the Kualakai Parkway on-ramp to the Kunia/Waipahu/Ewa off-ramp (Exit 5). The […] Source: Hawaii DOT Highways

Likelike Highway Kaneohe-bound closed Saturday night, Aug. 13, for tunnel maintenance

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HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) advises Oahu motorists that Likelike Highway will be closed in the Kaneohe-bound direction between Valley View Drive and Kahekili Highway from 7 p.m. on Saturday night, Aug. 13, through 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, Aug. 14, for routine tunnel maintenance and cleaning. Electronic message boards will be […] Source: Hawaii DOT Highways

New Farrington Highway Contraflow lane to help ease Leeward Oahu traffic

farrington-highway-gridlock-nanakuli New Farrington Highway Contraflow lane to help ease Leeward Oahu traffic New Farrington Highway Contraflow lane to help ease Leeward Oahu traffic farrington highway gridlock nanakuli

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is pleased to announce the new contraflow initiative on Farrington Highway in Nanakuli is scheduled to open Aug. 10, 2016. The pilot initiative aims to add an additional lane of capacity in the westbound direction during the busy afternoon commute between 3:30 – 7 p.m., Monday through […] Source: Hawaii DOT Highways

  • What to Do If You’re in an Accident

What to Do If You’re in an Accident

  1. Check for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Do not move injured occupants unless you see fire, suspect the risk of fire, or are instructed to do so by 911 operators.
  2. Find out your location. Note the street address, highway mile marker, destination sign or nearest billboard. Emergency personnel and your insurance company need this information.
  3. Note the weather conditions, skid marks and the damage to the other vehicle. Sketch the accident scene.
  4. Locate any witnesses and get their account of the accident and their name, address and phone numbers.
  5. Don’t admit to any fault.
  6. Get a copy of the police report or find out how to obtain a copy.
  7. Don’t make any “deals” to pay out-of-pocket in order to avoid notifying your insurance company. Your policy requires you to report the accident even if you choose not to file a claim.
  8. Contact a Tow Service Hawaii to move your vehicle to a repair shop, and make arrangements to get home.
  9. Call your insurance company to report the accident and file a claim.

Roadside Emergency Guide | The Family Handyman

  • What Warning Lights Mean

What Warning Lights Mean

Oil light on. The engine has low oil pressure. Check the oil level and add oil if you have some with you. Otherwise, have the vehicle towed to a repair shop. Driving a vehicle with low oil pressure can cause catastrophic engine damage.

Brake light on. Check the operation of the brake pedal. If it feels spongy or goes to the floor, stop driving and have the vehicle towed to a service facility. If the pedal feels firm and the brakes stop the vehicle, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir. If it’s low, add more brake fluid. If the light stays on after you’ve added fluid but the pedal is still firm, have the vehicle serviced as soon as possible.

Airbag/SRS light on. The airbags have shut down and will not work if you get into an accident. Get the vehicle serviced soon.

Traction control/stability control light on. There’s a problem with the system. You can still drive the vehicle, but exercise extra caution on slippery roads and in turns. Have the system serviced soon.

“Check engine” light on. If the engine’s running smoothly and the transmission is shifting properly, you can continue to drive the vehicle until you can get it checked by a mechanic. If it’s flashing, pull over at the nearest safe spot. Have the vehicle towed to a repair shop immediately. Driving with a flashing “check engine” light can destroy expensive ($1,200 and up) emissions components.

Charging system light on. There’s a major failure with the charging system. Drive immediately to the nearest repair shop.

ABS light on. There’s a fault in the anti-lock brake system. You can drive the vehicle and operate the brakes. But exercise more caution on slippery roads. Get the problem checked out soon.

High temperature. Pull over at the nearest safe spot and turn off the engine. DO NOT open the radiator or the coolant reservoir. Have the vehicle immediately towed to a repair shop. Driving an overheated vehicle can cause serious engine damage costing thousands of dollars to repair.


Roadside Emergency Guide | The Family Handyman