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Home News-Telegram News Traffic: School starting back; slow down and hang up phones or risk a ticket

Traffic: School starting back; slow down and hang up phones or risk a ticket

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Cumby students returned to classes Monday, and all other children in Yantis and Hopkins County schools — Como-Pickton, Miller Grove, North Hopkins, Saltillo, Sulphur Bluff and Sulphur Springs — will return to school Tuesday morning.

With the start of the spring semester, students and parents are reminded to keep in mind start and dismissal times for classes at each campus as well as speed limits and designated traffic flow patterns in school zones to help ensure safety of all students and motorists, particularly during those times.

Parents, as always, are encouraged to know the start time for each child’s campus and to be diligent in getting students to class on time, when possible. 

Sulphur Springs Police Capt. Jay Sanders said all of the same rules and current traffic laws will apply to motorists in 2014 as in 2013. Motorists are urged to abide by them to ensure their safety as well as that of children and other motorists, and to avoid being pulled over for violations which can result in costly citations, depending on the offense.

Roads around schools generally are specially zoned with lower speed limits. Drivers should watch for those as well as children walking to and from school or waiting at bus stops, buses loading and unloading, and officers at or between lanes directing traffic in front of schools.

Motorists who are in a hurry and feel the need to travel at rates above those posted limits (ex. 25 on League Street just off the League Street bridge to just north of Sulphur Springs Elementary; also the speed limits on the section of State Highway 11 east starting just east and west of Como-Pickton schools that are lower than the normal 70 mph limit) are encouraged to seek alternative outes that do not pass schools. Most are designated with yellow school zone lights; motorists are required to slow down and be ready to stop if necessary when they see them.

While there is no officially designated school zone in front of Sulphur Springs High School, motorist traveling on Houston Street during start and dismissal times are asked to slow down and plan for heavier traffic flow, as well as buses entering and exiting the bus hub at Gerald Prim stadium.

Watch for the warning lights on school buses, which indicate they will soon be stopping. Then stop when the red lights and signs are up. Passing a school bus could not only endanger the life of a child getting on or off the bus, but also result in hefty traffic fines and vehicular damage.

Parents dropping off or picking up children at schools are reminded to follow the flow of traffic to avoid causing major traffic problems. When an officer or school official at a school gives traffic directions or instructions, follow them.

Also plan ahead with extra time just in case pick-up or drop-off takes longer than planned. Particularly at Sulphur Springs Middle School, parents can arrive 15-20 minutes ahead of dismissal or start times or come 10-20 minutes later at dismissal to avoid longer waits in line.

If traveling by Douglas Intermediate school, motorists should keep in mind that the two streets in front of and behind the school are one-way traffic only from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Also, remember to turn off cell phones while traveling through school zones. Motorists stopped for talking on cell phones in active school zones can be and usually are fined for the offense.

Overall, officials remind motorists to make a concerted effort to slow down, eliminate distractions, follow traffic flow patterns, plan ahead for slower travel times and be careful when passing staff and officers, and expect kids to dart in and out of school yards walking home and getting into cars. Drive safely and defensively and follow directions of people who bravely step out into traffic, be it officer or school staff, to direct traffic in school zones.




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