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Drivers be cautious, school is back in session

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- As summer comes to a close and children begin to head back to school, the 30th Space Wing Ground Safety Office reminds base personnel to drive vigilantly, on and off base, with safety in mind.

Vandenberg has entered the 13th week of the Air Force's 101 Critical Days of Summer Campaign and this month's focus is back-to-school safety.

"It is important to keep safety in mind year-round, but during this time of year it is especially crucial because more children will be out walking to and from school," said Staff Sgt. Michael Ferguson, a 30th SW occupational safety and health specialist. "A lot of children will be traveling to and from school on their own for the first time and might not follow the rules they were taught."

Vandenberg's ground safety team recommends drivers be extra cautious, especially in school and residential zones, by reducing their speed and continuously scanning the road ahead for children to increase their situational awareness.

"Children are unpredictable and make spontaneous decisions," Sergeant Ferguson said. "Drivers have become used to children not being out in the early morning during summer break and might become forgetful how easily a child can run into the street."

Even though drivers can expect to encounter children in the mornings and afternoons around school zones, accidents and mishaps can happen at any time and anywhere.

"Usually base school zones are pretty good about having cross walks and using crossing guards," Sergeant Ferguson said. "A real concern of mine is when people neglect to use the cross walks or drivers who do not pay attention to street signs both on and off base."

For more information regarding back-to-school safety or safety tips from the 30th SW Ground Safety Office, call Sergeant Ferguson at 605-2607 or 606-SAFE.