With the official first day of school for the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) beginning on Thursday, August 12, 2021, our local roadways and school zones will see a dramatic increase in vehicle, pedestrian and school bus traffic. It is a priority of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with our community, to keep our children safe.
During the summer months, it is easy to get used to a routine of traveling to and from our destinations without increased school traffic and reduced speed zones near our local schools. Now that school is about to begin, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Division would like to offer the following tips to help keep our children and our roadways safe:
- Be mindful of children waiting for school buses in residential areas, especially where subdivisions converge with main roads
- Remember children can be unpredictable so use caution when passing school bus stops
- Always know where the school zones are located throughout your travel routes and abide by the reduced speed limits
- Be prepared to leave earlier than usual to account for increased vehicle traffic and bus routes
- For children who will be waiting at bus stops, parents should ensure they have some sort of reflective clothing to help increase their visibility to motorists
- Children who will be unaccompanied by an adult at their bus stop should be shown where to safely await their pick-up
- For children who will need to walk considerable distances from their home to and from their bus stop, parents should talk to them about stranger danger and have an agreed upon designated travel path
- Never pass a school bus that is stopped with its STOP sign extended
- Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard and obey their traffic commands
- Always stop for pedestrian traffic
- Remember to not follow close behind a school bus due to frequent, unexpected stops
- On foggy mornings, remember to drive slower and be prepared to stop for children awaiting their bus
- For those who live near high schools, be prepared for increased traffic and younger drivers
“As we begin the new school year, it is important our community’s children remain safe. All over Hamilton County we will begin to see increased traffic at intersections and school zones on August 12th and we encourage motorists to slow down and allow extra time in their daily commute. HCSO deputies and our local law enforcement partners will focus on traffic and school zones in an effort to keep traffic moving in a safe and responsible manner. Remember, always be vigilant for school children and school buses,” stated HCSO Chief Deputy Austin Garrett.
For more information or tips on back to school safety, please visit the National Safety Council’s website at https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/seasonal-safety/back-to-school/drivers.