First Day of School Reminds Drivers of School Safety

Published 09/02 2014 12:12PM

Updated 09/02 2014 12:26PM

ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WFRV) - The first day of school is a big one  for students and teachers alike. It means more time in the classroom, on the playground and walking to and from school.

After a nice long summer  drivers may need a little educating of their own when it comes to school zone safety.  That's why area police are reminding drivers to stay focused and remember the rules.

Heidi Gooding dropped off her kids at elementary school Tuesday morning  for their first day.  She says many drivers forget what it is like driving during the school year, but now they need to be on the alert.

 "I think it's just important to be watching for them[kids], because they don't always, especially when they're excited, look where they're going," Gooding said.

Area police are even taking to social media to get the word out on school zone and bus safety laws.

The Green Bay Police say they want drivers  to remember the school zone speed limit of 15 miles per hour.  Drivers need to be aware that schools start and close at different times of the day, so police say should always have an eye out for children. 

Sharon Scheidenhelm helps get kids to and from school as a crossing guard.  She sees drivers' bad behavior in school zones first hand. She says it is crucial for drivers to focus on the road and keep an eye out for kids.

"Paying attention is the big thing," Scheidenhelm said.  "The crossing guards are risking their lives every day, protecting our kids. So, make sure that they do obey the rules."

Drivers must stop for crossing guards when they are in the crosswalk with their stop signs raised.  Drivers must then stay stopped until the crosswalk is completely clear.  Green Bay Police say if you see crossing guards on street corners, the 15 mph limit applies.

 "Important, mostly for the kids. Their safety. We can be out in the intersection and not that we're not going to get hit, but at least if we get hit, it's not somebody hitting a child," Scheidenhelm said.

Finally, always be mindful of busses. When a school bus is stopped with its flashing red lights, all traffic must stop at least 20 feet away from the bus.  That means traffic from both directions unless it is a divided highway. 

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