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Media Availability AISD, City of Austin Transportation Dept. Remind Community to Be Safe on the Road

AISD and the City of Austin urge community members to recognize the importance of school bus safety. It is particularly important to not pass school buses displaying flashing red lights.
 
Who:
Interviews available with
  • AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz
  • AISD Police Dept. Chief Eric Mendez
  • AISD Director of Transportation Kris Hafezizadeh
  • City of Austin Transportation Director Rob Spillar
What:
During the event, Superintendent Cruz will act as a crossing guard for about 10 minutes, donning a bright yellow vest. Also, Austin Transportation Dept. Director Rob Spillar will speak with parents and students about transportation safety around schools.
 
When:
7-7:30 a.m. Aug. 26 
 
Where:
Bryker Woods Elementary School, 3309 Kerbey Lane
 
Background:
AISD and the City of Austin remind drivers to:
  • Reduce their speed when driving near schools and to follow posted signs that require drivers to slow down to 20 miles per hour or less when lights are flashing. Failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or stop when school bus lights are flashing and speeding through school zones when lights are flashing could result in a fine.
  • Put down that cell phone and any other electronic device! In addition to the City's hands-free ordinance banning handheld electronic devices while driving, the State of Texas also prohibits cellphones in school zones. Drivers are encouraged to put down all distractions and be extra cautious in school zones.

The district's transportation team would like to reinforce several safety tips for students.

  • Always remain in direct eyesight of the bus driver.
  • Arrive at the bus stop in plenty of time, at least five minutes prior to the scheduled time.
  • Take 10 giant steps back from the curb while waiting for the bus and 10 steps away from the curb when exiting the bus.
  • Never try to re-board the bus without the driver's permission to retrieve an item after exiting.
  • Never reach underneath the bus.
  • Always follow the driver's directions for how to cross the street.
  • Be alert to traffic and look both ways.
  • Always cross in front of the bus, but only when the bus driver signals it is safe.
The City's transportation team would like to reinforce:
  • Be patient! School changes our traffic patterns- there are more people trying to get to the same place and at the same time. Be calm in congestion and courteous to drivers.
  • Try to carpool. Carpooling is a great way to reinforce the sense of community and alleviate some traffic congestion. We encourage parents to coordinate carpools - even if it is one or two days a week, every little bit helps.
  • Walking and biking to school can be a great option, but students are encouraged to wear bright colors when doing so. Bright colors help drivers see you, but go the extra mile and wave to drivers before crossing the road to ensure they see you.
To learn more about the 2015-16 school year, please visit www.austinisd.org/back2school.
 
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AISD is the fifth-largest school district in Texas, serving approximately 85,000 students at 129 schools. Follow AISD on Twitter at @AustinISD or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/austinisd