With many youngsters returning to school this week, State Police on Tuesday urged motorists to support a safe-driving initiative by AAA New York.

The campaign, School's Open -- Drive Carefully, is designed to preserve the safety of kids traveling to and from school and also serves as a reminder to motorists that the motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14.

The campaign runs from Wednesday to Oct. 14.

State Police vehicles, school buses and other official vehicles will display "School's Open" bumper stickers as a reminder of the safety campaign.

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State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico said children returning to school after a summer vacation are apt to be less careful, so motorists should be alert.

"Drive carefully and be especially aware of school speed zones, school bus traffic, and children walking," D'Amico said in a news release.