The New York State Police is urging the public to help preserve the safety of children traveling to and from school.

State Police are urging the public to keep children safe this school year by exercising extra caution on local roads.

The agency is supporting AAA’s yearly “School’s Open — Drive Carefully” campaign, which is dedicated to alerting motorists to the leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14: motor vehicle crashes. The campaign begins today and runs through Friday, Oct. 14.

“As the school year starts once again, the New York State Police remind motorists to be on the look-out for children boarding buses and walking to and from school,” said Superintendent George P. Beach II in a news release. “Please, drive carefully and be especially aware of school speed zones, school bus traffic and children walking.”

State Police also emphasized the need for extra caution when driving as schools reopen, since it is then when children busy thinking of vacation are less aware or apt to be careful. Drivers should be particularly alert for children darting out between parked cars on busy streets, the new release urged.

“Drivers need to slow down, be alert and avoid distractions while driving to ensure children make it to school and safely home to their families,” said Major Joseph W. Dodd in a news release. “We are asking everyone — motorists, parents and students — to do their part and be vigilant during this busy time of year.”