POSTED: Sunday, August 11, 2013 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Sunday, August 11, 2013 - 11:04am
LOUISIANA — As the 2013-14 school year quickly approaches, Louisiana State Police would like to remind motorists to drive with extra care and be especially aware of school zone speed limits, school buses loading or unloading children, and children walking or biking to school.
Troopers will be patrolling school zones throughout the state, and speeding will not be tolerated while school zone speed limits are in effect. Most school zones have a reduced speed limit from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. However, some zones are marked with slightly different times, and it is the responsibility of motorists to be aware of these speed zones and to reduce their speed accordingly.
In addition to the school zones, the motoring public must be aware of school buses that are loading or unloading children. If a school bus is stopped for this purpose and has its stop signs and red lights activated, motorists must stop not less than thirty feet from the bus and wait for the lights to be turned off before proceeding. NEVER pass a stopped school bus picking up or dropping off a child. A school bus driver can report any violation of this law. The fines for this violation can be substantial and your driver's license can be suspended. ALWAYS assume there are children present any time you are near a school bus.
Troopers would also like to take this opportunity to remind parents of some general safety rules they can pass on to their children that may be walking or biking to school this year. Some tips include:
• Do not cross the street alone if you are younger than 10 years old.
• Always STOP at the curb before crossing the street.
• Walk; do not run across the street.
• Look LEFT, RIGHT, and LEFT again before crossing.
• Walk facing traffic.
• Make sure drivers see you before crossing the street in front of them.
• Cross at least 10 feet in front of a school bus.
• At railroad crossings, stop and look both ways. If on a bike walk it across the crossing.
• When riding a bicycle always wear a proper fitting bicycle helmet.
Motorists should expect traffic congestion and possible delays near school zones. It is important for each driver to be patient with the increased traffic and allow extra time to arrive safely at their destination. Remember to always buckle up and insist that ALL occupants in the vehicle are buckled up as well. Keeping these safety tips in mind will help assure a safe school year not only for our children, but for the motoring public as well.