With school starting throughout the area, I would like to remind you of some safety concerns as it relates to school zones and safe travel to and from school. Most areas around schools have a speed zone posted at 15 mph. Please do not exceed this speed and if you do, be prepared to pay a fine, as officers will be enforcing the speed in these school zones throughout the school year.

As school starts it is important to allow yourself extra travel time if you normally travel through a school zone on your way to work or during your daily travels. Most children will use the crosswalks at the ends of blocks, but it only takes one child to run across the street mid-block, in front of traffic, to change lives forever. Do what you can to minimize distractions in your vehicle: don't text and drive, keep your eyes on the road, buckle-up yourself and all occupants before you start moving.

If the schools in your community have crossing guards, you are required by law to obey the stop signs held out by those crossing guards. When you approach any crosswalk, be prepared to stop if a pedestrian is near the crosswalk. Once the pedestrian enters the crosswalk, you as a driver must yield to the pedestrian until they have completely crossed the street. Crossing guards are encouraged to report all violations of this law.

Most schools have restricted or signed parking. Please observe these parking restrictions as they are put there for a reason. Some of those reasons are safety involving an evacuation, some involve access for emergency vehicles and some may involve safety during loading and unloading of trucks or buses. You could face a parking ticket and your vehicle may be towed if it is in violation of a restricted parking area. As a reminder, if possible, have children exit the vehicle on the curbside to avoid exposure to moving traffic.

Please use caution while travelling within your communities, especially when approaching a school bus that is stopped or in the process of stopping. When a school bus has its yellow lights on, this means you may proceed with caution (not to exceed 20 mph if outside school zone) but be prepared to stop. When the school bus turns on its red lights and/or puts its stop sign out, you must stop from both directions, not closer than 15 feet from the bus, when travelling on a two-lane road. Bus drivers are encouraged to report all violators of this law.

The operator of a motor vehicle on a highway providing two or more lanes in each direction need not stop when he meets a school bus which is traveling in the opposite direction even though the school bus is stopped and its red signal lights flashing.

The operator of a motor vehicle on a highway providing two or more lanes in each direction shall stop when he overtakes a school bus traveling in the same direction when the school bus is stopped and its red signal lights are flashing.

Thanks for helping make our communities a safer place.