Local Law Enforcement Reminds Everyone of Back to School Safety Tips
The Franklin Police Department and Heard County Sheriff’s Department want to remind motorist to be extra careful and expect longer commute times, due to student’s traveling to and from school. Planning ahead for your commute will undoubtedly save time, lower frustration levels, increase levels of alertness and improve safety for yourself and loved ones. In addition to allowing enough travel time, take a moment to do simple things such as identifying the school zones, the time frames that they are active, the locations of pedestrian crossings and school bus pick up times along the routes you travel. This will enable motorist to plan their daily commute efficiently. Other tips for the start of the school year include:
Riding the Bus
- Have a safe place to wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street.
- Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop.
- Always wait for the door opens before approaching the bus.
- Use the handrails when entering and exiting the bus.
- If you have to cross in front of the bus to get on, make sure that the bus driver observes you during your approach, along with other motorist.
- Look both ways and make sure other motorist have stopped before you enter the roadway.
- Never fight, push, or shove others while waiting in line to exit the bus.
- Keep feet, books, lunch boxes, and book bags out of the aisle.
- Remain seated while the bus is moving.
- Always obey the bus driver.
Walking and Biking to School
- Mind all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard.
- Walk your bike through intersections.
- Walk or ride your bike with a friend when possible.
- Plan the shortest and safest route to and from school.
- Do not wear earphones and/or use a cell phone.
- Be mindful of all motorists.
- Know and obey all traffic signs and signals as they pertain to pedestrians.
- Safety belts are the best form of protection in the event of a crash, so always buckle up.
- Allow additional time for your commute, keeping in mind that additional motorists and buses will be on the roadways.
- Be patient as buses are loading and unloading.
- Obey all traffic laws and pay close attention to traffic signs and signals.
- Watch out for other pedestrians walking to school, they may not see you.
- Parents of teenage drivers should know the law regarding passengers in the vehicle.
- Drivers need to not only pay attention to their driving, but also pay attention to other drivers and pedestrians.
- Watch for children entering and exiting the roadway for transportation.
- When driving your children to school, deliver and pick them up as close to the school as possible. Don’t leave until they are safely on school grounds.
Before and After School Adult Supervision
- Make sure unsupervised youth are old enough or mature enough to be home alone and trusted.
- Teach basic safety rules and leave emergency contact numbers.
- Ensure they know the activities allowed while home alone.
“The start of a new school year is often chaotic, as many of us modify our schedule to adjust to students returning to school. We ask that you remain alert and aware when traveling through school zones and be mindful of buses making frequent stops to pick up students,” stated Chief Kevin Hannah of the Franklin Police Department.
“Intersections in and around schools are often dangerous, due to the increased amount of traffic. Each year we respond to motor vehicle accidents at the intersection of Franklin Parkway and Main Street, located in front of the Heard County High School. Investigations have indicated the primary cause for the majority of these accidents has been the driver traveling from Franklin Parkway onto Main Street, failing to yield to oncoming traffic. Motorists are encouraged to remain patient and allow the intersection to clear before completing their turn onto Main Street,” continued Chief Hannah.
“I encourage each and every one of our students to take their education seriously. Obtaining a great education is a major stepping stone in your futures. I am so proud of the group of educators, support staff, and school board leaders we have in Heard County and thanks each of them for their sincere dedication to their profession and to our students,” added Sheriff Ross Henry.