UPDATE

Put safety first for back to school


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Students in Bridgeport, Alvord and Chico will head back to school Thursday. With that in mind, it’s a good time to remember a few safety rules.

Drivers need to remember that school zones will be back in effect.

“Make sure you go the speed limit. We will be out watching that, particularly the first couple of weeks,” said Sgt. John Mosely, who oversees the school resource officers at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

Depending on the roadway, the school zone speed limits may be in effect for the whole school day or for certain times that correspond with drop off and pick up times. While most school zone speed limits are 20 miles per hour, school zones in higher traffic areas such as farm-to-market roads may be a little higher. Watch for signs, as speeds and times will be posted.

Buses will also be back on the roads, and drivers need to remember that when a bus is stopped, they need to stop as well.

Mosely said officers will strictly enforce the traffic laws related to stopped buses.

“Under state law, passing a bus whose lights are flashing could result in a $1,250 fine. They are not going to be lenient on those,” he said.

The rules for stopped school buses apply to undivided roadways.

Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford said it’s also important students and parents know about after-school bus riding plans and to communicate effectively.

“Know what school bus to get onto, and if you are not riding the school bus that day, communicate that with a parent or guardian,” Stanford said of students riding the bus.

Parents who drive to the schools should also pay attention to each school’s drop off or pick up procedures.

If parents or anyone else see something that may be a safety hazard or concern, Mosely said to contact law enforcement.

“If people see something that needs to be addressed, let us know,” he said. “We want the community to be involved in school safety. If you see something, say something.”

Stanford echoed that sentiment and also wanted to remind students they should never get in a vehicle with someone they don’t know.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Association also recommends the following back-to-school safety tips:

Riding the school bus

Stay five steps away from the curb.

Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.

Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.

Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.

Source: www.nhtsa.gov

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