The summer holidays will end in the middle of next week. With the start of school, there is not only a lot of new things for first graders, but also for everyone who is switching from elementary school to secondary school. The Bielefeld police and the Bielefeld traffic watch give tips on how to get to school safely. The WESTFALEN-BLATT has summarized the most important questions and answers.
How should the way to school be trained?
The police say: "Train your child with him several times on the way to school. The training should of course be linked to school hours. A weekend with little traffic can only serve as an introductory training session."
This also applies to the use of public transport and the correct behavior at stops. If your child is dependent on public transport to get to school, OWL-Verkehr offers you a free "parent-child ticket" to train with buses and trains. The ticket entitles you to a one-time return trip for an adult accompanied by a child until August 18, subject to the conditions listed.
How do I find the best path for my child?
Arnd Schilack, Managing Director of Verkehrswacht: "The shortest route is not always the best." Schick advises that you ask the school in advance about plans to get to school. "A detour should be accepted in the case of dangerous spots such as large intersections or difficult traffic routing." When practicing, parents should explain the way to the children and explicitly point out danger spots such as exits. "After practicing several times, the child can then, conversely, lead a parent and explain the way to him." Easy paths should be practiced at least four times, difficult paths up to ten times.
What else is there to consider?
"It is also possible to walk behind the child at a certain distance and see whether it is thinking of everything," says Schick. If there are still uncertainties, it is advisable to continue accompanying the child on the way for the first time after starting school. "Of course, this also applies to the children who were unable to practice beforehand. It is also important that you take enough time in the morning. If the child goes off at the last minute and feels rushed, they are less attentive and may make mistakes more quickly in traffic," says the managing director of the Bielefelder Verkehrswacht.
What about the parent's taxi?
If possible, the car should be avoided, says the traffic watch. The first graders as well as older students do the exercise and the fresh air before school starts. If you are dependent on the car to get to school, you should not stop directly in front of the school gate to prevent traffic chaos and not endanger the children additionally. Parent stops have now been set up at most schools a short distance away. From these pick-up and drop-off zones, the children can safely walk the last part of the way, and some fresh air in the morning is good.
What about riding a bike?
The police recommend: Children should first take the bicycle test during primary school and only then cycle to school. And appeals to the parents: If your child rides a bike to school, then you should regularly take care of the perfect technical condition. Good equipment includes a bike helmet in the right size that can protect when worn correctly.
In a few weeks, the dark season will begin with autumn. What should I put attention to?
The police say: "Send your children to school in such a way that they are easily recognizable. You can increase safety by adding reflective elements to clothing or by using safety vests. This is a good investment for the coming dark season. Drivers can see pedestrians wearing reflective clothing around 150 meters earlier."