Slow Down: AAA Launches Safe Driving Campaign for School Zones

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - One in five children who are killed in traffic related crashes are pedestrians, that according to the CDC.

As kids get ready for a new school year, AAA is working with city officials to keep the roads safe, launching a new campaign: School's Open, Drive Carefully.

"Well it's not kind of important, it's really important."

Kiddos are back in school and that means drivers must be vigilant.

"They're just so excited. And they're excited to see their friends. I happened to be at a couple of the schools this morning and you know you hear the squeals and they run across the parking lot."

"Some people just run across the road without even checking. It's really dangerous if you don't stop."

Students like Lucy Perry are eager to get back in the classroom, but recognize how dangerous the roads can be during the morning commute.

"Just make sure you don't text while you're driving and buckle up and don't go over the speed limit."

"There also has been a few incidents of people passing a stopped school bus."

"When that red light is on you have to stop."

Pay attention and slow down.

Just after the bell rang at the Fruit Street School, Bangor Superintendent Betsy Webb joined Bangor Police and AAA to get that message across.

"If you think about it, the bus stops, the light comes on, the stop sign comes out and that's the signal to children to enter the bus. If someone drives through that can be very dangerous."

"And there is a posted school zone speed limits. Make sure to follow those."

At the end of the day, Bangor Police say no distraction on the road is worth endangering the life of a child.

"The situation of a family that may end up having to go through a catastrophic tragedy, take that extra minute just to be a little bit more safe."

And remember...

"Drive safely."

AAA wants drivers to keep these tips in mind during school hours.

Slow down. School zone speed limits are reduced for a reason. The difference between 25 mph and 35 mph can save a life.

Eliminate distractions behind the wheel.

Come to a complete stop at all stop signs.

Watch for bicycles on, and crossing, the street.

And talk with your children about traffic safety.