By David Tom, Navy Region Hawaii School Liaison Officer
Summer will soon come to an end for public school students as they start school on July 29. With schools back in session, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) is reminding drivers to use extreme caution and be especially aware of children walking or riding their bicycles to and from school in the morning and afternoon.
There is always an adjustment period when classes resume, for both drivers and students. Also be aware that some children may not see you when they are entering the crosswalks, so please drive slowly and always watch for the children.
Student traffic will usually start just before 7 a.m. and continue through 8 a.m. After-school traffic normally begins at 2 p.m. and winds down after 3 p.m.
Because of the large number of families who arrived in Hawaii during this summer, there are many students new to JBPHH and the surrounding military housing community who are not familiar with the local traffic patterns.
“The best advice we can give is for drivers to slow down and give yourselves more time to get to your destination. The extra time is certainly worth avoiding accidents,” said Lt. Col. Karla Heren, deputy commander for 647th Air Base Group.
Likewise, parents and students should map out the safest route to school together, including any alternate routes, and should also discuss proper safety practices such as the use of crosswalks and proper bicycle safety. Additionally, please ensure your children wear bright clothing to increase visibility for drivers.
Finally, children should not walk to school wearing headphones or playing portable video games because this makes it difficult for them to hear the traffic around them. Let’s all do our part to ensure a safe and accident-free school year for all.