The first day of school got off to a good start, and according to Police Captain Jay Sanders, most drivers observed school zones and reduced speeds.
“Traffic flowed really well. We had about four officers out there doing traffic control this morning,” the patrol captain said. “Hopkins County Sheriff's Office helped us at ECLC [Early Childhood Learning Center], and everything went really smooth this morning.”
Traffic flow at Sulphur Springs Middle School on Wildcat Way is the same as last year.
“It's one way,” Sanders said. “You go in one way and come out the same way, but when you come out, you have to turn right.”
For drivers leaving the middle school campus, Sanders recommended they use Arbala Road or South Broadway Street as traffic routes and not try to make a U-turn around at the top of the hill on Wildcat Way.
“If they get caught making a U-turn at the top of the hill, they could get a citation,” he said. “They just need to be careful.”
Another thing drivers need to be aware of is that the use of cell phones in school zones is prohibited, and police are also on the alert for that.
“I got one this morning, first rattle out of the box,”Sanders said. “The school zone lights had not been on three minutes in front of ECLC and a gentleman came through talking on his cell phone.”
Sanders said patrol officers would be keeping a close watch on the school zones in an effort to keep areas around the schools as safe as possible.
“We are working them just like we did last year,” Sanders said. “Nothing has changed, the times are the same.”
Along with reduced speeds and the ban on cell phone usage in school zones, drivers are also reminded of the state laws on passing school buses.
The Texas Department of Public Safety says drivers should use care or be ready to pay higher fines if they pass a school bus with its lights on.
DPS says one of the most dangerous times for students, such as youngsters returning to school, is when they get on or off the school bus.
As of Sept. 1, drivers who illegally pass school buses in Texas will face higher fines. DPS says the maximum fine for a first offense will increase from $1,000 to $1,250.
Drivers who violate school bus passing laws more than once already face suspension of their licenses for up to six months.
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