Back To School: How to keep the roadways safe for students and drivers during the school year

 

It’s the big week a lot of your children are heading back to the classroom!

Thursday is the first day back to school for Chatham County students…

…and that means fleets of buses will be back on the roads in full force!

The Georgia State Patrol asked us to remind you to be careful when driving near bus stops and in school zones.

But what can you do to keep your child and other students safe if they are walking or driving to school?

Georgia State Patrol told News 3’s Courtney Cole it’s easy—they say it all starts with simply paying attention.

As the traffic flow and traffic patterns start to change–and drivers get acclimated to students going back to school, Georgia State Patrol wants to work with you to help keep your children safe on the roads.

 

Master Trooper Andy Sinquefield says the first thing you should do is leave your house with plenty of time to spare…

 

“…Go ahead and give yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes extra travel time over that first week or two until people learn how long it’s going to take them,” said Sinquefield.

 

Don’t drive too fast– and, trooper Sinquefield says, following the school zone speed limits could save a  life…

 

“…What we have to realize is that our kids that are around these areas are sometimes very unpredictable…and they will run out in the street, looking for a parent to pick them up and not really being conscious to the traffic surroundings around them.”

 

And the next time you see a school bus stopped along the road, remember it’s only legal to pass if…

 

This picture, courtesy of the Georgia Department of Education, shows exactly how you should respond on the road when driving near a school bus.
This picture, courtesy of the Georgia Department of Education, shows exactly how you should respond on the road when driving near a school bus.

 

“…You’re passing in the opposite direction and there’s a divided highway..meaning there’s a grass median or raised concrete island in the middle a guardrail, a concrete wall..something separating the lanes of travel,” trooper Sinquefield told News 3.

 

Just to make sure these rules aren’t taken lightly–Trooper Sinquefield says law enforcement will be patrolling school zones.

 

“…Over the first few weeks you probably will see a heavier presence, just due to making sure things run smooth, people are where they need to be, traffic remains flowing at a normal rate, and that everybody’s safe.”

 

Trooper Sinquefield also advises parents and other drivers to pay special attention to school zones, even after class has ended for the day…

Because although you may think school is done for the day around 3:30 p.m. or 4:00 p.m., many school campuses are still busy with a lot of kids who participate in after-school activities.

 

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