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Everything you need to know about HOW TO GET A GEORGIA DRIVER”S LICENSE

HOW TO GET A GEORGIA DRIVER’S LICENSE

There are two tests that must be completed to receive a Georgia driver’s license. The first is the written or knowledge exam and the second is the skills test or road’s test. All non-US citizens who are residing in the state for more than thirty days are considered residents and are required to obtain a Class C Driver’s License in order to drive in Georgia.  https://dds.georgia.gov/information-non-us-citizens

Beginning April 12, 2021- No appointment is needed for the first written test. The first written exam can be accomplished at soon as the Au pair has received the SS card.  This is offered in multiple locations including Cumming, Alpharetta, Canton, Norcross, Marietta, Kennesaw, and BlueRidge which are closest to our cluster. Check business hours for the location of your choice. All customer centers are closed on Monday and close at lunchtime at 12pm on Saturday. All will be closed on Federal and State holidays.
The Road’s Test or Skills Test is taken after the learner’s permit is issued. The Au pair does not have to hold the learner’s permit for any length of time. The Road’s Test can be taken immediately. The Road’s test requires an appointment. The appointments are in high demand and appointment times can be scarce.  The appointment can be made 120 days ahead.
It is possible to make the Road’s test appointment before the learner’s permit is obtained. This is accomplished by not making an online account first and simply setting the road’s test appointment. Speak with your community counselor to learn more about setting this up.
Please note: A licensed GA driver will need to drive the Au pair to the test. The registration and current car insurance must be provided. The licensed driver will stay in the car with the Au pair during the test.
*Many driving instruction agencies are licensed to provide the Georgia Road’s/skills test after completing their driver’s training classes. This may be easier than setting up the road test through the Georgia driver’s service for the State of Georgia.  For more information, please see the blog.
To be prepared for the written test and road test, study sections 5 and 7 about Georgia driving laws and road signage.
Practice taking the written exam:
Learn what skills will be tested during the Road’s test.

Documents Required                                                                                         

Documentation showing your identity and legal presence in the USA:

  1. DS2019 form ( Verify that the form is signed at the bottom by Au pair and shows current host family address)
  2. Passport
  3. I-94 card  (print out from the cbp website).
  4. Social Security Card
  5. Confirmation of placement letter can be printed directly from the Au pair portal.
  6. International driver’s permit
  7. Original country license ( this should be returned to you).
  8. Two forms of proof of Georgia residence: 1.Confirmation of Placement letter ( print from the Au Pair portal) AND 2. choose one of the following ways to prove your residency:
  • Bank statement with Au pair name and host family address dated within 6 months of the appointment date.
  • Order a book of stamps through www.usps.gov and save the envelope showing Au pair name and host family address dated within 6 months of the appointment date.
  • Save Social Social Security card information when it arrives through the mail showing Au pair name and host family address- this must be dated within 6 months of the appointment time.
  • Print your insurance card from the CISI website with your name and host family address on the card https://www.mycisi.com/CISIPortalWeb/pub/login.aspx?PT=GEN

For more information regarding the Georgia Driver’s License refer to our Blog under life in the USA

Where to take your Georgia driver’s written and roads tests?

Two test must be taken: A knowledge test and a skills test.  No appointment is necessary for the knowledge exam, but wait times can be long.  An appointment must be made to take the roads test. Test can be made 120 days ahead. Save confirmation emails and appointment numbers. The written exam can be made as soon as the social security card is obtained. 

 The Roads test does not have to be taken in the same location. Please research all available appointments close enough to drive from the host family home. A licensed driver will need to drive the Au pair to the Road’s Test, if she has been issued a temporary permit. 

Class C Driver’s License

 

Search for driving distance from your host family’s home using this link. Ask your host family which location is closest to your home.       https://dds.georgia.gov/locations/customer-service-center

 These are the locations most often used. Some may be too far from your location.

All are open Tuesday to Friday. Some are open on Saturdays 8am-12pm. The offices will be closed on holidays. CHECK the hours of operation for the specific office BEFORE you go.

Alpharetta Does not offer the Roads Test, Written test only- 1575 Maxwell Road   Alpharetta, GA 30009 Saturday 7:30am 12pm

Canton right off 575 behind library- Brown Industrial Parkway, Suite 200 Canton GA. 30114 

Cumming 400 Aquatic Circle Cumming GA. 30040 Saturday 8am-12pm

Marietta  1605 County Services Pkwy  Marietta, GA 30008  Saturday 7:30am

Gainsville 1010 Aviation Blvd  Gainesville, GA 30501  Saturday 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Cartersville  1304 Joe Frank Harris Pkwy  Cartersville, GA 30121 Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm

Kennesaw-Saturday7:30-12pm  3690 Old 41 Hwy NW  Kennesaw, GA 30144

Norcross/Peachtree Corners- Saturday 7:30 to 12pm 2211 Beaver Ruin Rd Norcross, Georgia 30071

Blue Ridge This office is not open on Saturday211 Industrial Blvd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

[Directions]

Information obtained at www.dds.ga.gov

Let’s Talk! Reminders and tips about communicating with your Community Counselor.

Communication with your Community Counselor

It is very important to stay in communication with your counselor. Without at least monthly conversations, it is impossible for your counselor to know what is going well for you or what you need help with. The State Department of our Government sets the rules for which APIA must follow. One of those rules is that you must have at least one communication with your counselor per month. Most of our communication will take place at our monthly meetings. If you do not attend a cluster meeting, it is important that you talk with your counselor that month and discuss how your year is going.

Cluster meetings are mandatory. This is part of your contract with APIA. You will not always be able to attend. The following are reasons that you might not attend a cluster meeting:

  • You are sick.
  • You have an education class.
  • Your host family has a conflict in the schedule.
  • You are concerned about the cost of the meeting.

These are the only acceptable excuses. If you must miss a meeting for one of the above reasons, please call and let me know. If you miss more than three meetings during your year, I will not be able to give you a good recommendation in reference to your participation with APIA.

There are other times you MUST call and talk with your counselor:

  • When you go on vacation with your family or on your own.
  • To report any accidents: car, personal, in the home, with host children
  • If you are involved in an incident in which the police or firemen are present: fire, accident, robbery, etc.
  • If there are any concerns with the host family which harm you in any physical or emotional way.
  • If any incident occurs with you which may compromise your completion of the year.
  • If your host mom is expecting a new baby.
  • If your host family plans to move.

Many common questions can be answered without calling your counselor.

The official website for Au Pair in America ( www.aupairinamerica.com then scroll to the bottom and click ” current Au pair”) is a great place to search for interesting facts or important information. Our cluster blog site is also a great place to find the answer you are looking for. The following are examples of questions you can answer on the website or on our blog.

  • Where can I go to the doctor?
  • What do I need to get my driver’s license?
  • What do I need to travel to another country?
  • How do I pay my USA taxes?
  • What activity can I do with my host children?                                                                              Your counselor is always glad to communicate with you. You are always welcome to contact your counselor. Here are some things to remember:
  • It might not be possible for her to speak to you or to respond to your text at the exact time you want.
  • If your counselor does not answer the phone, she may be in a meeting or talking with someone else. If this is the case, you will reach her voice mail. Voice mail in the USA is an important way businesses operate.
  • Your Counselor will not know that you called if you do not leave a message. Please call once and leave a message.
  • Do not call or text multiple times. It is only necessary to leave one voice mail or text message within a 24 hour time.
  • Please don’t feel shy about your English skills. Your counselor is in the habit of listening to au pair messages and she will be able to understand you.
  •  If you have an emergency, your counselor will call you back as soon as she receives your message. If you cannot wait on your counselor with an immediate emergency, call the after-hours emergency number for Au pair In America and follow the prompts for emergency assistance.
  • If you are calling to say hi or with a question, she will return your call within 24 hours.
  • Most counselors have set office hours. If you call or text outside of these hours, and you do not have an emergency, she will call you back on the next business day.
  • Resist texting after hours or on the weekend. Send an email and your counselor will answer this when she returns to work on the next business day.     

 

 

Counselors love talking with au pairs and look forward to hearing how your year is going!  Counselors also love hearing about ideas for cluster meetings. So, call soon!!

Facts about Flu Vaccination! What Every Au Pair Should Know.

The information contained in this article was obtained from The Centers for Disease Control And Prevention. For more information, please go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/

The best way to protect yourself and your host family against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. CDC recommends everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine.

Au pairs can get a flu vaccination at many locations( urgent care centers, Pharmacies, Doctor’s office, Public health centers.) Costco and your county health clinic may offer the best cost.

The average cost is 20 to 40 dollars. Au Pair insurance will not cover the cost of flu vaccination. Most host families will gladly pay for your flu shot.

 

What are some key reasons to get a flu vaccine?

  • Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu illnesses, hospitalization, and even death in children and young adults.
  • While some people who get vaccinated still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.
  • A vaccine is cheaper than the illness. The average cost for a patient with flu is minimal $1000.00
  • 3.7 days to 5.7 days is the average length of time someone is not able to work due to being sick with the Flu.
  • Having a complicated Flu illness could end your Au Pair term early.

Misconceptions about the Flu Vaccine:

Can a flu vaccine give you the flu?

No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle (i.e., flu shots) are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ (killed) and that therefore are not infectious, or b) using only a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) in order to produce an immune response without causing infection.

Is it better to get the flu than the flu vaccine?

No. Flu can be a serious disease, particularly among young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults.  Most people suffering from flu illness miss 4 to 7 days of work and will spend $250.00 to 1000.00 dollars in health care costs (http://theweek.com/articles/471450/cost-getting-flu-by-numbers.) Therefore, getting vaccinated is a safer and less costly choice than risking illness to obtain immune protection.

Is the flu vaccine safe?                                               
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of
Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years.
Extensive research supports the safety of seasonal flu vaccines.
Each year, CDC works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for
flu vaccines. More information about the safety of flu vaccines is
available at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccinesafety.htm.

What are the side effects of flu vaccines?
Flu shots: Flu shots are made using killed flu viruses (for inactivated
vaccines), or without flu virus at all (for the recombinant vaccine). So,
you cannot get flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may
occur include soreness, redness and/or swelling where the shot was
given, low-grade fever, and aches. If these problems occur, they are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible. Almost all people who receive flu vaccine have no serious problems from it.
When and Where to get vaccinated?       
You should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, as long
as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout
flu season, even in January or later.

 

Tie Dying is fun for groovy Au pairs! 

 Tie Dying is fun for groovy Au pairs!

 This is a very fun activity to share with your preschool and up age host children, just remember to wear gloves. This is best done outside. PRO TIP : The dye will change the color of anything it touches, even skin so use caution! 

  1. All items must be made of 100% cotton. Check the label and confirm 100% cotton. You can use worn items that have a stain or need a new life! Pale colors can be tie-dyed if you choose coordinating colors. Pillowcases, t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags- All great choices!
  2. Wash your item before tie-dying it. The item can be wet or dry for the dye.
  3. Check out this web site for details about creating specific patterns on your garment. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/293226625713649961/?autologin=true&lp=true 
  4. Make a place to tie dye– A  table with a plastic table cloth or large trash bag works great. Lay a couple of paper towels directly under the item to absorb the run off dye.
  5. Make your pattern by folding, twisting, or wrapping the item and rubber band it together very tightly. Use a lot of rubber bands.  Remember that inside the folds will be left white.
  6. Use two or three coordinating colors for the best results. If you use more colors it will bleed together and make a brown color.  Wear plastic gloves or you will be tie-dyed too!
  7. Place in a zip lock bag and leave for 24 hours.
  8. Take out of the bag ( wearing plastic gloves) and lay in the grass or hang in some way off the ground and wash off the excess dye with a garden hose. The dye will change the color of most porous hard surfaces- like driveways, so grass is best.
  9. Wash the item by itself once using cold water. After one or two times of wearing and washing by itself,  you can wash along with other clothes. The item will not bleed onto other clothes.
  10.  Enjoy your creation for years to come!   * For our projects we used Tulip brand tie-dye kits  that can be found at many retail stores or on-line.

Here are a few of the Au Pair projects!

Tie dyeIMG_4142 IMG_4144 IMG_9486 IMG_9489imagejpeg_0IMG_4145

Au Pair Favorite Free Online Courses!

A Few of our favorite On-line Courses for FREE!!!

1.Yale University: The Science of well-Being.

This course challenges you to be happy and let go of ideas that keep us from being our best!

https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being?recoOrder=10&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=pe_VgN6AEeqBo8m8_7foAg

2. Georgia Institute of Technology: Improve your English Communication Skills.                           This is a four-part course that will give about 15 hours for each course, If you finish all of them, it is 60 hours.

https://www.coursera.org/specializations/improve-english?recoOrder=3&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=pe_VgN6AEeqBo8m8_7foAg

3.The University of Pennsylvania: English For Career Development. This is a 40 hour FREE course! 

https://www.coursera.org/learn/careerdevelopment?recoOrder=11&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=pe_VgN6AEeqBo8m8_7foAg

4.The University of Californa at Irvine: The pronunciation of American English Specialization.

This is a four-part course that gives about 20 hours per course. 80 hours for the total specialization.

https://www.coursera.org/specializations/american-english-pronunciation?

5. Yale University: Introduction to Psychology. This course provides 15 hours.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/introduction-psychology?recoOrder=10&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=pe_VgN6AEeqBo8m8_7foAg

 

Rainy Day Activities!

Rainy days and cold winter days can be hard for Au Pairs who are home with little kids all day. Here are a few tips from the APIA website that can be helpful to fill the time and fun for everyone. For more ideas try these great links below.

Fishing at home (for children over 3)

Look around the house and spend some time with the child finding things that will stick to a magnet. Tie a piece of string to a stick. At the other end of the string tie a magnet. Put paper clips and other things that are magnetic in the “pond.” Or cut out paper fish and put a paper clip on each one.


Make a life-size paper doll (for children over 3)

Have the child lie down on a large piece of brown wrapping paper and draw an outline around the child. Let the child use crayons, markers or paint to put clothes and a face on the “doll.” It can also be a collage by cutting out fabric pieces for the clothes and yarn, string or even styrofoam pieces for the hair. In warm weather go outside and trace the child on the sidewalk with chalk and then color in clothes and hair.


Paper Butterflies: Fold a piece of paper in half. Open the paper and drop small amounts of paint on half of the paper. Fold the paper in half again and rub your hand across the paper to spread the paint colors that are inside the folded paper together. With the paper still folded, cut out the shape of one side of a butterfly. Unfold the paper to see both sides of the butterfly. Allow the paint to dry, then draw the body and add antennae if you wish.


Children as young as three would love a Secret Hideout. This can be created out of a corner of the playroom, under the dining room table or in a large appliance box, or by constructing a hiding place with blankets. Eat lunch in the hideout for a special treat. Imagine you are being discovered by pirates, or that your hideout is on a desert island. The same structure can be used in many different ways. School-age children might enjoy building a hideout themselves (with your help). Cut a swinging door and windows into a large box from a refrigerator or a stove. Decorate with paint or markers. Furnish with small furniture or pillows. If there’s some extra fabric around you could even add curtains.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-symantec-ext_onb&hsimp=yhs-ext_onb&hspart=symantec&p=indoor+tents+for+kids+to+make+with+blankets#id=1&vid=671c345f4246880e8fc1e41df7449244&action=click

https://www.aupairinamerica.com/resources/activities/

https://www.pinterest.com/aupairinamerica/

 

Are You Thinking Of Extending Your Au pair Year?

Extension Year Tips

Choosing to extend is a great choice! It does require some planning and thought before you decide. These facts will be helpful in your decision-making process. Call or email your counselor, if you need help making the right choice.

  • You must have at least 72 hours of education completed at the time of your request to extend.
  • Certificates or documents that show your completed hours must be emailed to your community counselor. Please do not text pictures. Take a picture and email.
  • All education hours must be completed 30 days before the end of your first term.  Your request to extend and all documents will be filed one month before your end of your first year. THIS IS FIRM. THE STATE DEPARTMENT WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY EXTENSION REQUEST, IF THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENT HAS NOT BEEN MET.
  • If you are going to extend with a different family, you need to get your education finished by the 8th month so that you have time to interview and find a new family.
  • You have a choice to extend for 6, 9 or 12 months.
  • The travel month will be moved to the end of your second term. Your second au pair term will begin the day after your first year ends.
  • You cannot extend your second year, once it begins. If you choose for six months, you cannot stay longer.
  • You may change your mind during your second term and still receive your flight back home if you give your host family and CC at least one month’s notice.
  • If you are not able to give at least one month’s notice that you need to leave, you will be required to purchase your own flight home to your country.
  • If you leave early in the second term, you will lose your travel month. You will be expected to return home at the end of your one month notice.
  • There is no guarantee that you will get matched for your second year. Many au pairs do not make a match and return home.
  • Once you are matched with a second term family, you cannot change your mind and choose another family that calls later. You must honor your commitment.
  • Deciding to stay with your current family can work well. Sometimes, there are some things that you will want to change about your second-year experience. Talk with your host family to see if they are willing to make the changes you need to stay a second term!
  • Many au pairs underestimate the difficulty of getting re-adjusted in a new city. You will not have friends. You will not know your way around. Your host family will be new to you. Your host children will be new. All the comfort of your current situation will be gone. You will be starting over!
  • A second term in a new city can be exciting. You will have an opportunity to make new friends, see a new city and learn another way of life here in the USA!
  • The education requirement still applies in the second year. Standard au pairs will have 250.00 education allowance towards a six-month extension. You will need to achieve 40 hours of educating.   500.00 education allowance is given towards a nine and twelve-month extension. You will need to achieve at least 72 hours of education.
  • Your transfer to your new second term family is on the last day of your contract. You may not join them earlier or later than this date. This is very strictly followed. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • If you have the upgraded insurance policy, you must pay the fee to upgrade the policy in your second term. The insurance has to be the same. You must pay the fee to upgrade or you will not be allowed to stay.
  • Your USA driver’s license will need to be renewed once you have a new DS-2019 form with your extended dates on it. If you move, you will need to exchange your license for that State’s license with your new address.
  • Travel outside the country may not be possible in your second term. Some islands around the USA may be allowed. If you plan, to travel outside the USA in your second term (with or without your host family), you will need to 1. Read the travel information about second term travel outside the USA on the APIA website and 2. Email Fiorella at fciralli@aifs.com, if you have further questions about travel in the second term. http://www.aupairinamerica.com/resources/travel_and_flights/travel_visa.asp#3
  • Your actual visa will expire at the end of your one year term. However, the white paper in your passport ( the DS-2019 form) is the document that gives you a legal reason to be in the USA.  A new DS-2019 form will be issued to you from the State Department. It is not necessary for you to go back home to renew your visa.
  • Some Au Pairs want to renew their visa, due to the travel plans of their host family. Renewing the visa is risky because your government may not agree to grant another visa and you would not be allowed to return to the USA to finish your first term. It takes a lot of planning and organization to save your vacation days to the end of your term in a plan to return home to get a new visa. This process may take 2-3 weeks. You would need to return to the USA at least two weeks before your current visa expires.  Your host family is responsible for paying your Au pair stipend each week, even if you go home on vacation. Because of this, they may not agree to have you be absent for 2-3 weeks. The Au Pair must also pay your flight back home.
  • There is a lot to think about! Ask your counselor for advice.

It is important to talk each month with your Community Counselor.

Communication with your Community Counselor

It is very important to stay in communication with your counselor. Without at least monthly conversations, it is impossible for your counselor to know what is going well for you or what you need help with. The State Department of our Government sets the rules for which APIA must follow. One of those rules is that you must have at least one communication with your counselor per month. Most of our communication will take place at our monthly meetings. If you do not attend a cluster meeting, it is important that you talk with your counselor that month and discuss how your year is going.

Cluster meetings are mandatory. This is part of your contract with APIA. You will not always be able to attend. The following are reasons that you might not attend a cluster meeting:

  • You are sick.
  • You have an education class.
  • Your host family has a conflict in the schedule.
  • You are concerned about the cost of the meeting.

These are the only acceptable excuses. If you must miss a meeting for one of the above reasons, please call and let your CC know. If you miss more than three meetings during your year, Your counselor may not be able to give you a good recommendation about your participation with APIA.

There are other times you MUST call and talk with your counselor:

  • When you go on vacation with your family or on your own.
  • To report any accidents: car, personal, in the home, with host children.
  • If you are involved in an incident in which the police or firemen are present: fire, accident, robbery, etc.
  • If there are any concerns with the host family which harm you in any physical or emotional way.
  • If any incident occurs with you which may compromise your completion of the year.

Many common questions can be answered without calling your counselor.

The official web site for Au Pair in America ( www.aupairinamerica.com then scroll to the bottom and click ” current Au pair”) is a great place to search for interesting facts or important information. Our cluster blog site is also a great place to find the answer you are looking for. The following are examples of questions you can answer on the web site or on our blog.

  • Where can I go to the doctor?
  • What do I need to get my driver’s license?
  • What do I need to travel to another country?
  • How do I pay my USA taxes?
  • What activity can I do with my host children?                                                                              Your counselor is always glad to communicate with you. You are always welcome to contact your counselor. Here are some things to remember:
  • It might not be possible for her to speak to you or to respond to your text at the exact time you want.
  • If your counselor does not answer the phone, she may be in a meeting or talking with someone else. If this is the case, you will reach her voice mail. Voice mail in the USA is an important way businesses operate.
  • Your Counselor will not know that you called if you do not leave a message. Please call once and leave a message.
  • Do not call or text multiple times. It is only necessary to leave one voice mail or text message within a 24 hour time.
  • Please don’t feel shy about your English skills. Your counselor is in the habit of listening to au pair messages and she will be able to understand you.
  •  If you have an emergency, your counselor will call you back as soon as she receives your message. If you cannot wait on your counselor with an immediate emergency, call the after-hours emergency number for Au pair In America and follow the prompts for emergency assistance.
  • If you are calling to say hi or with a question, she will return your call within 24 hours.
  • Most counselors have set office hours. If you call or text outside of these hours, and you do not have an emergency, she will call you back on the next business day.
  • Resist texting after hours or on the weekend. Send an email and your counselor will answer this when she returns to work on the next business day.     

 

 

Counselors love talking with au pairs and look forward to hearing how your year is going!  Counselors also love hearing about ideas for cluster meetings. So, call soon!!

Back to school driving tips for Au Pairs!

The summer vacation is over! Every Fall, nearly 55 million children across the United States return to school. Many children will be on foot or using their bikes to either get to the bus stop or school grounds.

School days bring heavy road congestion with buses stopping to pick up students, children on bikes that are rushing to get to school before the tardy bell rings, and stressed out parents dropping kids off on their way work. Drivers must slow down and pay attention when children are present.  The afternoon hours are particularly the most dangerous. Over the last 10 years, nearly one in four child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

As children head back to school, here are some helpful reminders to drivers:

Slow Down and Obey School Zone Speed Limits 
Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster. Fines for speeding in a school zone can be as high as $400.00

“No Passing”
This is a standard law, noted clearly in school zones, yet drivers regularly ignore it. Passing is not permitted in the 15 mph zone, no matter how slow another vehicle may be traveling. Passing doesn’t mean going around the vehicle. No passing means that your bumper cannot pass any other car’s bumper going in the same direction.  Another important reminder, never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.

Flashing Lights
In a school zone when there are flashing lights, drivers must stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.

Be Diligent
Watch for kids crossing the streets. Children are quick, often unpredictable, tend to ignore hazards and take risks. A student crossing the road unexpectedly or emerging suddenly between two parked cars could be tragic. Eliminating distractions such as talking on your cell phone, eating, etc. is also strongly encouraged. Never text and drive and follow all laws pertaining to school buses. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.

Stop
Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in neighborhoods and school zones. Check carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding. Always stop for a school crossing guard holding up a stop sign.

Crosswalks
Never block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. Pay special attention as you approach the intersection to avoid this as it forces pedestrians to go around you and this could place them in the path of moving traffic.

Reversing Concerns
Every vehicle has blind spots and children are small and may dart unexpectantly. Double-check for children walking on the sidewalk. In your own driveway, look all around your vehicle before backing up. Always back up slowly and teach your children to never play in, under or around vehicles. Also, discuss with them where to stand when a vehicle is reversing.

Watch for Bicycles
Young children on bikes can be unsteady, inexperienced, and most definitely unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that he or she wear a bicycle helmet on every ride and map out a safe route with details on what to avoid and how to navigate their route.

Bus Safety
According to the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are between the ages 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are either hit by the bus, or a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. When the school bus has initiated the stop sign, all drivers must stop in both directions. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children and sadly we see news stories regularly of impatient drivers who race by a bus unloading young children. Obeying all road rules is imperative for student safety. It is also costly for a ticket, costing as much as $1000.00 in Georgia for the first offense.

The information posted was obtained at https://theumphx.com/2019/08/05/back-to-school-safety-reminder-drivers-watch-out-for-the-kids/