* Familiarize yourself with school or provider drop-off and pick-up practices and then be sure you always follow them. One of the biggest complaints by school officials is that parents find a reason to be exception to the rule. If the curb says "No stopping, standing or parking at any time," that means for everyone. If children are required to use designated cross walks, dont walk your child across the middle of a street just because youre holding her hand. If traffic is supposed to be one way at designated times, be prepared to change your traffic pattern. And, if an area is designated for teacher parking only, then dont grab a space to drop off your child because you think its just for "a couple of minutes." * Discuss the rules with your child and practice with younger ones. If possible, take your child to the drop-off area and "practice" the procedure at an off-peak time. Have your child wear his backpack (if required) and walk him through what to look for, what to do, and what not to do. If crossing guards are utilized, explain their purpose and how they must wait for approval to cross. Younger children understand best by actually "doing" a routine instead of just being told about it. Familiarity and then repetition are the best guidelines for ensuring child safety all school year long. * Resist the urge to speed or make any traffic rules exception because you are running late. Whipping your car around, getting your child to dash out of the car to reach the classroom before the school bell rings, or encouraging a "drop-and-dash" drop-off is the recipe for disaster in terms of child safety. You would rather your child receive a tardy notice than to be in an accident. * Know all traffic rules concerning school zones and traffic flows. Remember, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Drive your pattern now and familiarize yourself with the various speed zones. Be aware of which side of the car your child sits, and consider positioning her to the side most convenient for exiting. If your child is in a "drop" situation, see if the child seat or booster seat is something he can put on or off safely; the same holds true for lap belts and shoulder harnesses. * Refrain from using your cell phone, palm, or any other distraction while around school zones. This common-sense advice really applies whenever a motorist is behind the wheel, but especially when in a driving situation around young children and their perhaps spontaneous actions.