It’s back to school time in Brighton and throughout our area. First day of school photos and clothes shopping are exciting for parents and grandparents, but amid the excitement of fall, traffic safety is another important message of the season.

Traffic volumes soar as school buses return to the road and families return from vacations. Sunrise comes later and later each day, affecting the morning commute, and the fall weather often turns gloomy. The combination of children and traffic can be a dangerous mix, so here are a few tips on what we all can do to stay pedestrian safe in Brighton this fall.

Safe driving should be a year round commitment, but it becomes especially important this time of year. Following posted speed limits is an obvious safety tip, but it also can save gas and make for a less stressful drive. Please observe speed limits; most Brighton neighborhoods have a limit of 25 mph and arterial streets have limits of 30 or 35 mph, but in any case, never drive faster than conditions permit. Poor lighting conditions, obstructed vision from leaf piles or fall weather conditions may leave you unable to see a child on a bike or crossing the street until it is too late.

Attention to pedestrians and cyclists is also a critical part of traffic safety throughout the year, but it is especially true in the fall. Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing a street in a crosswalk.

Likewise, pedestrians should always use crosswalks when crossing a street. When a pedestrian is crossing the street in a crosswalk, drivers must allow the pedestrian to cross all the way before proceeding. In particular, do not try to make a turn in front of a pedestrian crossing the street. Crossing guards in the Twelve Corners and elsewhere in Brighton put their lives at risk to keep students safe; please remember to follow their direction and give pedestrians the right of way at all times.

More and more cyclists are riding in Brighton  — and again — it is important that both drivers and cyclists share the road safely. Bicycles should always ride with traffic, and bicycle helmets should be worn by riders of all ages.

New York law requires motorists to “keep a safe distance” from cyclists. Many other states require cars to stay at least three feet from cyclists, and that should be a minimum standard for motorists sharing the road with cyclists.

Back to school is an exciting time for kids of all ages. Please help make it a safe time for everyone. Following safe driving habits and teaching children safe walking and cycling habits will help make Brighton a safer community.