Sheriff Issues Back to School Safety Reminders

Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley is urging motorists to use caution as buses and school traffic return to the roads with the start of school today.

Shirley said he will have extra deputies patrolling looking for those who are not buckled up or who are not obeying the posted speed limits.

He urged drivers to leave early, allow plenty of time to travel, and always be prepared for anything on the roads.

“We just ask that they pay extra attention to their speed, watch for school zones and slow down when they see a bus,” said Shirley.  “Pay attention to children who are waiting for a bus.  Children may run into the street without looking.  Stop when the bus displays its flashing red warning lights.  Slow down when the bus driver activates the flashing yellow lights and never pass on the right side of the bus where children enter and exit.  That is illegal if you do.”

In addition, the sheriff encouraged drivers to be aware of crosswalk locations and children preparing to use them.

Shirley also reminded drivers to be aware of the ongoing roadwork on Highway 17 between Wal-Mart and Eastanollee Elementary School.

As for those taking the bus, Shirley urged parents to keep a number of safety tips in mind for those children.

“We would also like to encourage the parents whose children ride the school bus to tell them to not play in the street while waiting for the bus, wait for the bus to signal before they cross the street,” said Shirley.  “Never let your child reach under the bus to get anything that may have fallen beneath the bus.  Have your child arrive about five minutes before the bus arrives.”

Shirley also encouraged parents to make sure children have a safe place to wait for the bus away from the street.