MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — As students head back to school, Law enforcement agencies want to remind drivers to be extra cautious while out on the roadways.

The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for many, however, officials encourage all drivers to be mindful and aware of school buses and overall safety concerns in school zones.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency encourages all parents to sit down with their children and discuss safety prior to the first day, which is particularly important for 16-year-old students who recently have obtained their driver licenses and plan to drive themselves to school for the first time. In addition, parents and their young drivers should review Alabama’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) law and fully
understand the restrictions.

ALEA urges everyone to use the following tips with their young drivers:

• Make trial runs to school and back prior to the first day of school to familiarize the new
driver with the best route, and possibly determine at least one alternate route.
• Expect heavier traffic (at least for the first week) and leave home early.
• Obey speed limits and other rules of the road.
• Do not drive while distracted by cell phone, stereo, passengers or anything else that takes
your eyes off the road.
• Buckle up no matter how short the trip – and make sure all occupants in the vehicle have
buckled up.
• Remember Alabama’s GDL restricts 16-year-old drivers from having more than one nonfamily member in the vehicle when driving.

The agency also reminds everyone to promote safety throughout the school year by following
these tips:

• Slow down and be alert, particularly in areas near school zones.
• In a school zone with blinking flashers, stop and yield to pedestrians cross the crosswalk
or at an intersection.
• Never pass a vehicle that has stopped for pedestrians.
• Students should only cross a street at a crosswalk or designated intersection once they
make eye contact with drivers and are certain the vehicles will stop.
• Watch out for children on bicycles and leave 3 feet between your vehicle and the cyclist
when passing them.
• Watch for bikes coming down driveways or from behind vehicles parked on the street.
• Do not load or unload children across the street from the school – unless instructed to do
• Be aware of school bus stops and drive cautiously in the area, preparing to stop quickly
should a child dart out into the street.
• Consider working with other parents to designate an adult to supervise children at the bus
stop each morning.