GRPS & GRPD Share Back to School Safety Tips; Remind Parents that Start of School is Tuesday, August 20

Grand Rapids Public Schools will begin the new school year on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. In an effort to protect our students, staff, and volunteers as they travel to and from schools, we are working closely with the Grand Rapids Police Department to provide residents with tips and thoughts on back to school safety.


As our K-12 children prepare for another school year, we need to constantly think about their safety to and from school and while on school grounds.

Drivers must remain watchful. Children dart unexpectedly into traffic, often from between parked cars. Young pedestrians face a variety of dangers while walking to and from school.

Here are a few basic safety tips for your child to follow:

  • Mind all traffic signals and the crossing guard.
  • Walk your bike through intersections.
  • Walk with a buddy.
  • Wear reflective material. It makes you more visible to street traffic.

Safety tips for entering and exiting the school bus:

  • Have a safe place to wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street.
  • Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop.
  • Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus.
  • When being dropped off, exit the bus and walk ten steps away from the bus. Remember that the bus driver can see you best when you are away from the bus.
  • Be aware of street traffic. Drivers are required to follow the rules of the road concerning school buses, but not all do. Protect yourself and watch out.

Safe bicycling tips:

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Always ride on the right side of the road. Never ride against traffic.
  • Ride single file. When passing other bikers or pedestrians, let them know your position by shouting out something like, "On your left!"
  • Always check behind you before changing lanes.
  • Watch out for dangerous things in the roadway. Litter, potholes, gravel, and storm drains can cause you to lose control.
  • Stop at all stop signs and all traffic lights. Be extra careful at crossroads.
  • Always signal before making a left or right turn.
  • Maintain control of your bike. Don't swerve or make sudden turns.
  • Use caution when riding next to parked cars to avoid injury from someone suddenly opening a car door in front of you.
  • Listen for cars approaching from the side or behind you.
  • Don't follow a car too closely. You may be in the blind spot, where the driver cannot see you, and you may be unable to stop if the car comes to a sudden halt.
  • Know your road signs and obey them.
  • Always be prepared to stop.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing.
  • Don't wear headphones, loose clothing or inappropriate shoes.

These are only a few safety tips we want parents to remind their children as they begin to return to school. If we work together, we can continue to keep our children safe not only in school but to and from school, as well.