Parents can take steps to reduce abductions of children. It is important to talk with them about these dangers and teach specific skills to handle them. We offer these practical suggestions for parents.

  • Do not leave your children alone in the car, yard, store or other public places. Know where your children are at all times.
  • Teach your children how to use the telephone. Make sure they know their address and phone number, including area code. Teach them about 911 and when they should use it.
  • If you must place your child’s name on their clothing and books, place it on the inside. An easily visible name tag could put an abductor on a first name basis with your child.
  • Choose a secret code word used by only you and your children. This can be used in case of emergency. Tell your child never to go with anyone who does not know the code word.
  • Impress upon your child that the police are their friends. If the child is in trouble, tell them that they may go to the police. Teach your children how to identify a police officer, or other people they may go to for help (firefighters, postal workers, security guards, store clerks, etc.).
  • Teach your child who is a stranger (anyone they don’t know). Strangers are “red light” people. A person remains a red light person until you have told your child they are OK.
  • Watch your child closely and ask your trusted friends and neighbors to do the same.
  • Fingerprint your child and keep their prints for identification purposes. Many police departments provide this service free of charge. Update your child’s physical description (such as height and weight), as they grow. Keep a current photo of your child with their fingerprints.


  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people present at all times.
  • Avoid going out alone, especially at night.
  • Avoid high-risk places (parking lots and parking garages, parks, trails, ANY secluded areas) when you are alone.
  • Carry a cell phone with you at all times.
  • Have your car keys out and ready as you approach you car.
  • Lock your car doors as soon as you get in.
  • Maintain a safe distance between yourself and strangers (a “reactionary gap” that allows you to avoid them getting their hands on you).
  • Be aware of avenues for escape.
  • Have a plan of action prepared. What would you do if a stranger approached you? What if they attacked you? What could you do? Allow for several variations, address several different situations.
  • Notice body language (the expression of intent projected through a person’s outward facial expressions and actions).
  • Potential attackers read body language. Don’t be an easy target.
  • Walk with purpose.
  • Project an air of confidence.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Again, be aware of who and what is around you at all times. Potential attackers often target people who are distracted, or unaware of their approach. The element of surprise is an attacker’s greatest ally, do not allow them that advantage.


Have you ever been unsure of when you are required to stop for a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off children? In spite of the fact that school buses are a frequent and highly visible presence on the streets and highways, many drivers do not understand the basic elements of the law regarding stopped school buses. If you fail to stop for a bus when required, you can receive a citation for the violation. Conversely, stopping in the roadway when not required can cause an accident because drivers with knowledge of the law will not be expecting your vehicle to stop. By taking a few minutes to learn the basic points of the law, you will be able to operate your vehicle confidently and legally.
If a school bus is stopped to pick up or drop off children on a street or road that has fewer than four lanes (3 lanes or less), all traffic traveling in either direction must stop. A vehicle approaching the bus from either direction must stop at least 10 feet away from the bus. The bus will not resume driving until the children have safely reached the side of the road that their residence is located on. All vehicles must stay stopped until the bus has starting moving again, or the bus driver signals for traffic to proceed.
If a school bus is stopped to pick up or drop off children on a street or road that has four or more lanes, only traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop. Traffic traveling in the opposite direction does not have to stop. The bus driver must pick up or drop off children on their residence side of the roadway. The bus driver will activate the red flashing lights each time a bus is stopped to receive or drop off children.
School bus drivers must stop at every railroad crossing to look and listen for any approaching trains. The bus driver will activate the hazard lights (i.e. four way flashers) at all railroad crossings. The traffic traveling in the opposite direction does not have to stop for a school bus that is stopped at a railroad crossing. Traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus does not have to stop as long as that side is two or more lanes wide. Traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop if it is operating in the only lane traveling in that direction.

If you fail to stop for a stopped school bus, the bus driver can report your license plate number and description of your vehicle to the local law enforcement agency, which will conduct an investigation and issue a citation for the violation. If you receive a citation you must appear in court, and you may receive a fine up to $500.00 and a maximum one-year license suspension.

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