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New school year brings traffic safety concerns

Wilson County Schools started their first full week back at school and with that comes an increase in traffic safety concerns. Mt. Juliet police officers will strongly focus on school zones and bus stop locations as students head back to school.

Officers will be on the lookout for motorists who disregard laws designed to protect children in school zones and will be providing extra attention at designated routes to and from schools during the first few weeks. In addition to the reduced speed limits in school zones, officers will be focusing on handheld phone use, school bus stop-arm, seat belt, and child passenger safety laws.

Last week, Chief James Hambrick visited with Wilson County’s school crossing guards and expressed support for everything they do to keep students safe. The department continues to maintain an open line of communication with crossing guards so they can easily report unsafe drivers or any other safety issues within the city limits.

Digital radar speed signs have been deployed to school zones also to raise awareness. Mt. Juliet Police have four digital speed signs that display the speed of cars and visually warn drivers if they are driving above the speed limit.

Parents are encouraged to visit their child’s school website to become familiar with the traffic plans for drop-off and pick-up at each school. Wilson County School’s website is http://www.wcschools.com.

To ensure school zones are safe this school year, Mt. Juliet Police offer the following suggestions:

  • Give yourself plenty of time in the morning. As traffic volumes and congestion on the roadways increase, so does the length of time it takes to travel to your destination. Giving yourself more time, by leaving earlier, reduces stress, increases your awareness, and improves your driving.
  • Obey the posted speed limit signs and directional signs, including marked curbs. Signs and curb markings assist in the traffic flow into and out of the schools and assist in the safety of the students who walk and bike to school. One misplaced car can disrupt the traffic flow and the safety of our students.
  • Be patient. Impatience leads to aggressive driving, rude or unwarranted behavior, pedestrian and bicycle collisions, and it creates traffic gridlock. Remember, everyone has the same goal in mind: to get our children safely to and from school. Also remember, the habits you exhibit in your driving and demeanor are typically passed on to your children when they start driving.
  • If you are driving your children to school, have them ready to leave the car, with all of their belongings, when you come to a stop at the school. Backups and delays are caused when children have to get their backpacks and other items from the trunk or back seat of a car. Explore other alternatives such as carpool, ride-sharing, walking, or biking to school.
  • Watch and obey the school crossing guards. Crossing guards are provided to assist with school traffic and the safe crossing of your students across the surrounding streets near each elementary school. Be on the lookout, be prepared to stop, and be ready to follow their directions so our children can get to and from school safely.

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