The Effingham Police Department is requesting community assistance in protecting children as the beginning of the school year approaches. August 19th is the first day of school, and police are reminding people of these tips to ensure safety:
1. Exercise extreme caution within school zones.
This applies for both children and motorists alike. Certain distractions present themselves from within the vehicle and from outside the vehicle. Vehicle distractions within the vehicle include the radio, passengers, cell phones, and portable media devices. Vehicle distractions from outside the vehicle include other motorists and environmental conditions, such as the morning sun or rain.
2. Utilize awareness and caution during school times.
Times to be especially cautious are when school children are gathering at bus stops, utilizing cross walks, crossing guards, and loading/ unloading school buses. Stopped school busses may be obscured by other motorists that are stopped. Crossing guards may not be witnessed due to other stopped vehicles or environmental conditions. This tip applies to all roads, including crossing areas during 7:30am-8:30am, 11:30am-12:30pm, and 2:30pm-3:30pm.
3. Provide yourself with adequate time for your appointment.
This allows for safe driving habits at posted speed limits within and external to school zones.
4. Talk to your children regarding school hazards.
Explain the unique hazards within school zones, reinforce the necessity to cross at school crossings, reinforce school zone speed limits, and understand distractions that may affect safe driving. With your assistance we can ensure a safe school year. By exercising extreme caution within school zones, utilizing caution during school times, providing ample time to attend appointments, and discussing school hazards with your children we can attain a safe school year.
The Effingham Police Department will be placing signs to remind motorists that school is in session. They will also be conducting increased patrols during school hours to remind motorists of applicable laws. As a reminder, speed limits within school zones are 20 MPH when children are present, obey school crossing guards, do not pass school busses with the stop arm activated, and refrain from electronic devices within school zones.