With school starting, children need to stay safe during their co - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

With school starting, children need to stay safe during their commutes

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YAKIMA, WA - School has already started for some kids across our area, and for others school starts tomorrow on Wednesday, which means more children walking to and from school.

The Yakima School District has some important tips for parents and students, both new and returning, to keep in mind.

Traveling in a group, sticking to your route, and crossing the street at a crosswalk are only a few of many vital tips that students should know when they are walking to school.

"Never cross the street mid block, always look for that cross walk, wait for the light to change, wait for the patrol if the patrol is already on duty," said Patrol Supervisor Cherly Smith.

At Hoover Elementary in Yakima, nearly 400 students will be walking to school each day, and with more than 22 schools total in the Yakima School District, knowing how to get to campus safely is important for both students and parents.

Smith says one of the most important things to be aware of on the first day is traffic.

"Give yourself extra time to get where you need to go, because there will be traffic issues. No one wants to be responsible for anything negative that could happen," Smith said.

To stay safe during their trek to school, children should pick a safe route with their parents and be advised to stick to it. They should also be encouraged to travel with friends; Smith says this could prevent strangers from approaching them.

"Walking to school with other students is vitally important," shared Smith.

Above all else, Smith says the most important thing for students to remember is to obey traffic signals.