(Westport, CT) – With the Westport Public Schools beginning on August 27th 2015, the Westport Police Department has stepped up it enforcement efforts targeting traffic violators in school zones with a “Back to School” enforcement and education campaign, focusing on traffic safety in and around the school zones. Westport Officers will be targeting drivers who are using cell phones and speeding in school zones, as well as disregarding School Bus Signals in Westport.
“During this time of year the Westport Police Department focuses on protecting children from motorists who disregard the law, especially around school zones and bus stops where they congregate” said Captain Sam Arciola. “The long summer break has allowed drivers to forget that they will soon be sharing the roads with School Buses making frequent stops, as well as children who will be walking or riding bicycles to school. As a community we have a responsibility to make sure children’s travel to and from school is as safe as possible .” “We remind motorists to budget extra commuting time to compensate for school buses being on the road, and to remain vigilant in school zones and around school buses” said Chief Dale E. Call. “ A list of suggestions for drivers, students and parents are listed below:
When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
Slow down. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street with out looking for traffic.
Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload
Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles. children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red
lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
Use the handrails to avoids falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings, and book bags with straps don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.
Never walk behind the bus.
Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.
Teach children to follow these common sense practices to make school bus transportation safer.