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Tips for traveling safely as students head back to school

Sunday - 8/26/2012, 7:25pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Students in several counties across the region are headed back to school Monday.

They will be getting dropped off, walking or biking, all at once. The activity can cause quite a mess in front of schools.

When dropping students off, drivers should be aware of where they park. They can get hit with three points on their licenses in Maryland if they go against the "No Parking, No Stopping and No Standing" signs.

When kids get out of the car, they should step out onto the sidewalk, not on the left side into traffic. They should also avoid texting while crossing the street.

For students who ride their bikes to school, wearing a helmet is a must. The law in Maryland says that anyone under 18 must wear one. In Virginia, they must wear one if they're under 15.

If red lights are flashing on a school bus, drivers must stop and let the kids get off. If drivers pass a bus without stopping in Montgomery County, the fine is nearly $600.

Police also remind drivers to watch their speed through school zones. The $1,000 fine for speeding through doesn't compare to the young lives at risk if drivers do.

WTOP's Thomas Warren contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)