Kids are back in school in Rock Island, so the police department is reminding drivers of the best ways to keep students safe.

“The greatest threat children face today is motor vehicle crashes,” Rock Island Police Department Police Chief Richard Landi said in a news release. “The problem escalates during the months children are in school.”

Landi provided a list of safety tips and urged drivers to follow them:

• Slow down near schools and in residential areas — slower speeds buy reaction and stopping time for the driver.

• Drive with your headlights on — even during the day — so children and other drivers can see you. Illinois law requires the use of headlights while windshield wipers are operating.

• Look for clues such as School Zone signs, bicycles, and playgrounds that indicate children could be in the area.

• Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs of children. If you see a ball roll onto the
street, rest assured a child could be close behind.

• Practice extra caution in bad weather.

• Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students. Even when police are not present, school bus drivers may report the violation of passing the bus when the stop arm is extended.

The Rock Island Police Department will be conducting “special speed enforcement details” in school zone areas “in order to enhance safety and encourage speed reduction awareness in and around schools.”

Landi said those details include:

• Officers will be utilizing LIDAR — which enables officers to pinpoint the location of the violator to
determine if the violation occurred within a school zone while children were present.

• Speed enforcement — speed limit within a school zone is 20 MPH when children are present.

• Officers will enforce laws pertaining to the use of cellular phones.