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RPD: Make safety a priority as school begins

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School zones have been relatively quiet for a longer period than usual as the pandemic has forced most local students to do remote learning the past year or so. That will change beginning Tuesday, Feb. 16 when Roswell’s public schools begin a hybrid system that returns children to their school buildings for in-person classes on some days.

Roswell public school students will begin some in-person learning Feb. 16. (Submitted Photo)

The students’ return to the classrooms will be phased in by grades throughout the remainder of the month, starting next week with elementary students.

While drivers may have grown accustomed to ignoring school-zone signs for so many months while students (with a few exceptions for specialized classes) were not present, the Roswell Police Department reminds everyone it is now time to refocus on those signs.

Motorists need to be aware when they are entering a school zone and adhere to the posted speed limit for the safety of local children finally getting back to their schools.

Whether in a school zone or not, drivers should heighten their awareness at intersections and approaching crosswalks. Also pay extra attention when approaching a school bus. Watch for children running out from in front of the bus — or other parked vehicles. Always remember, drivers in both directions must stop when the red lights on a school bus are flashing and/or its stop sign is activated. Of course, slow down when you enter a school zone — those areas limit speeds to 20 mph when children might be present.

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It’s also important for parents and other adults responsible for caring for school-aged children to talk to them about staying safe as they make the trip to school and home again. The Roswell Police Department asks parents and guardians to remind children to look both directions before crossing a street, try to cross in a crosswalk, and never head into the street from between parked vehicles or from in front of or behind a parked vehicle — it can be difficult for a driver to have enough time to stop if a previously unseen child darts out suddenly.

Also, parents should consider a “practice” walk with their children to school or the bus stop, especially for younger students and those who will be learning a new route to a new school or bus stop.

Some schools have parking zones designated to assist the smooth flow of traffic during drop-off and pickup times. Drivers are urged to adhere to the regulations so they can avoid being ticketed for parking violations.

More back-to-school safety tips can be found at the website of the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org/home-safety/seasonal-safety/back-to-school.

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