With students headed back to school throughout the Gem City this week, the Laramie Police Department is emphasizing some good practices to help keep kids safe.

These tips from the LPD are designed to keep kids safe on the way to and from school as well as at home. The department has also included some good reminders for drivers who will see school zone signs flashing once again this week.

  • Watch for the flashing school zone signs. When driving near a school, be prepared to slow down. The speed limit is 20 mph when the school zone sign is flashing, and Laramie police officers will be in the school zones to enforce that limit. Fines are much higher for speeding in a school zone.
  • Yield to pedestrian traffic in or around crosswalk. Be especially vigilant near elementary schools, as those children are generally smaller and can be more difficult to spot. Municipal code states that a driver must yield to pedestrian traffic within the crosswalk.
  • Pay attention to school buses. When a school bus stops, turns on its flashing red lights and extends its stop sign, traffic on both sides of the bus must stop until the bus starts driving again. This keeps kids safe as they get on or off the bus.
  • Keep an eye out for bicyclists. Many parents take their kids to school on bikes, so watch for both adults and children that may be riding in the street.
    • Bicyclists -- remember that you are considered a vehicle, and therefore you must obey all traffic laws as if you were driving a car.
  • Parents, talk to your kids about stranger danger. The LPD recommends teaching children to never accept candy or gifts from a stranger and to never go anywhere with a stranger. Tell them to run away in the opposite direction and scream if someone follows them or tries to force them into a car.
  • Ensure younger children know their name, address, phone number including area code and who to call in case of an emergency. Point out the homes of friends around the neighborhood where your kids can go in case of trouble. When home by themselves, make sure kids keep the door locked and never tell anyone who knocks or calls that they are home alone.