For the first time in months, lights will be flashing to notify drivers that kids will be going back to school.
All five of Natrina Ward's children will start their first day of school Tuesday. Two of them will be getting on the bus. The influx of students going back to school will impact everyone on the roads.
"Because there are a million kids out here and it's important you abide by the speed limit because kids are crossing," said Ward. "Sometimes they don't even listen to the safety guard. They just cross the street."
Lights will be flashing on crosswalks and on buses warning drivers. When people see the yellow flashing lights on a school bus, it doesn't mean speed up to beat it, but to slow down. Red flashing lights warn people to stop.
"Slow down and pay attention to the babies," Ward added.
Ward is especially protective of her children. Her nine-year-old son was hit by a van in a parking lot about a month ago.
"He was crossing the street," Ward noted. "She just backed up into him. So if it's that easy to back into somebody, imagine if you are driving and hit somebody."
People heading back to work Tuesday aren't the only ones who need to look out for kids. Students do too. Sherrie Najarian has two teenagers -one is a new driver.
"I'll be talking to her about being more careful as she drives into school," said Najarian.
Drivers should pay close attention when school lets out in the afternoon. Over the last 10 years, nearly a third of child-pedestrian deaths occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., according to AAA.
"The level of attention has to be a lot higher the more traffic on the road," said David Robbins. "The next couple of weeks are going to have the most traffic for the rest of this year I think."
Parents are counting on drivers to be extra cautious. The last thing Ward wants is for her kids to be in any kind of danger on their first day of school.
Drivers who pass a school bus that's loading or unloading students can face a reckless driving charge.
AAA also recommends leaving yourself some extra time so you're not hurrying to work in the morning - and think about revising your travel route to avoid school areas.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
WWBT-TV NBC 12
P.O. Box 12
On Your Side
Video and Pics