From Rome Police to Georgia DOT, the word is out, asking motorists to be especially careful as the 2017-18 school year begins. For Rome City Schools students, that first bell rings Friday morning.
From Georgia DOT: Students heading back to school means more traffic, increased congestion and the need for extra safety precautions. From school buses loading and unloading, to kids walking and biking, to parents dropping off and picking up – dangers are abound. DOT urges drivers to put safety first – especially in and around school zones, buses and children.
Pay attention to school zone flashing beacons and obey school zone speed limits.
Obey school bus laws.
Stop behind/do not pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
If the lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, opposing traffic must stop unless it is on a divided highway with a grass or concrete median.
Watch for students gathering near bus stops, and for kids arriving late, who may dart into the street. Children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.
According to the National Safety Council, most children who lose their lives in school bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, walking and they are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. “It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially in the peak traffic hours before and after school,” said Grant Waldrop, district traffic engineer at the DOT office in Cartersville.
WRGA News interviewed Rome Police Sgt. Danny Storey of the Selective Enforcement Unit about back-to-school safety:
“Keep in mind there are school buses going to traveling the roads,” he said. “So, if you have to be at work, leave a little bit early so you have plenty of time. That way you do not have to pass buses. Also, if a yellow school bus is on the road and the stop sign is out, do not pass that school bus. Again, the safety of our children is at stake here. It’s the hustle and bustle of the first day of school. The kids are going to be excited; they are going to want to get to school and meet their new friends. So, safety is the utmost concern. Take a little extra time, slow down, and be aware, and hopefully, we’ll have a good, safe year.”
“We will have motorcycle officers in the school zone areas,” he said. “They will be enforcing those speed limits. Heed to the limits that are set in the school zones. That way our children will be safe. The yellow lights will be flashing. Just pay attention, put the phones down and drive safely.”
Floyd Schools Kickoff Classic Friday at Model: Floyd County Schools will be hosting the Floyd County Schools Kickoff Classic on the Model Campuses. It is a professional development day that will have in-house and out-of-district speakers in a conference setting. The agenda and key notes for teachers and administrators can be found here. Floyd students return to class on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
BACK TO SCHOOL CALENDAR
Friday: Rome City Schools. (What to know)
Tuesday: Bartow County Schools (what to know),
Aug. 4: Excel Christian Academy (what to know)
Aug. 7: Calhoun City Schools (what to know)
Aug. 21: Darlington School (what to know)