Back to School!



Sheriff Press Release

Ottawa County Sheriff's Office
Back to School Tips

August 23, 2018

Media Contact: Sgt. Derek Gerencer | 616-738-4044

If the photos popping up on your Facebook newsfeed are any indication, the first day of school is a milestone for families. Youth in Ottawa County will be returning to school both this week and next. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office offers the following safety tips for going back to school.


  • Follow your school rules about dropping your child off at school. Most schools ask that you do not drop off your child in the same area as the bus drop off. This is to avoid traffic congestion and to reduce the chance of injury to your child.
  • If you are the parent of a child that will be walking to school, walk your child’s route with them before the first day. Point out the safe places to cross the street and point out areas of danger. Talk about places or homes along the route where a child could go if they needed help, like a store or home with a Michigan Child Watch sign. 
  • Identify bus stop locations and review and re-enforce the school bus safety rules.


  • If you walk to school use bike paths and sidewalks where available. In areas where there are no sidewalks or bike paths walk along the side of the road facing traffic.
  • If you ride a bike to school wear a helmet and ride on the edgewith traffic unless you are on a bike path. In the dark, your bike must have a light on it.
  • Wear light colored clothing and avoid using headphones or other electronic devices that will block noise.
  • If you ride the bus, arrive to your bus stop early.
  • Make sure the bus comes to a complete stop before trying to enter or exit the bus.
  • When crossing the street observe traffic, don’t rely solely on the bus lights, and watch for the signal from your bus driver to cross. Never walk behind the bus.


  • When driving prior to school and at dismissal time be aware of traffic around the schools.
  • As a driver it is your responsibility to know where School Speed Zones are and adhere to the speed limit.
  • Watch for crossing guards and stop when directed.
  • When approaching a school bus activating its flashing red lights you must stop until the lights stop flashing.
  • Remember that children have unpredictable behavior.

Bus 2

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Images included with this press release may be reproduced for editorial use.