Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

August 11, 2013

OUR VIEW:

Some will be eager to get back, and some will just be wishing they were still in bed. Whatever the case may be, they’ll all be doing the same thing this week — heading back to school.

Local schools will be back in session Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s a busy time for parents, kids and teachers. It’s also an important time for the rest of us. Now’s the time for motorists to make a mental note that they’ll soon share the road with buses and the kids waiting to board them.

Law enforcement officials soon will be reminding motorists to slow down and watch for young pedestrians.

Motorists should pay special attention in areas where children are present during the morning and afternoon hours. Drivers should be prepared to stop for children who may dart into streets near school zones, bus stops and in neighborhoods.

Children are especially vulnerable in areas with vehicles parked along the street, in high-traffic areas, along roads with higher speed limits and in areas without pedestrian crosswalks.

Vehicles are required to stop when a school bus stop arm is extended. Failure to do so is a Class B misdemeanor that could result in 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Police will be watching for those disregarding stop arms or speeding in school zones.

Parents should also discuss school bus safety with their children. State police note most children are injured while trying to pick up dropped items within a 10-foot area surrounding the bus. Parents need to remind their children that when they lean down to pick up something, they’ll be dropping out of the bus driver’s view. Kids should always be sure to stay where the bus driver can see them, and they should always keep their books and papers in their backpacks until they’re safely home.

By thinking about safety first, students and parents throughout the area should be able to enjoy a happy and safe beginning to the new school year.

THE ISSUE Local schools starting back this week. OUR VIEW It's time for drivers to slow down and watch for young pedestrians.

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