Back to school time

Slow down, stop for school buses and keep an eye out for our children


It doesn’t seem that long ago we were writing about spring high school and college graduates and congratulating them on their accomplishments and the hard work they had done to earn diplomas.

Summer is slipping away rapidly, though, and it’s time once again to note a new academic year begins this week for some area schools and suggest everyone exercise caution as they adjust to school bus traffic, the lower speed limits in school zones and an increase in pedestrian traffic near schools.

The flashing lights that warn motorists to slow down for school zones have been dormant for a few months now, and we have become accustomed to driving through at the regular, posted speed limit. That’s going to change, and we shouldn’t be caught unaware.

Law enforcement officers have been known to be understanding and sympathetic during the occasional traffic stop, but they aren’t known to show mercy to those who speed through school zones.

The fines are double for speeding citations handed out in those areas, and the price of inattention can be expensive.

The fine is insignificant, however, to the tragedy that can follow a vehicle/pedestrian accident or a collision with a school bus.

Be careful, for everyone’s sake.

Care also should be used even outside the limits of school zone signs. Not everyone rides a school bus, and drivers should be alert to presence of young pedestrians making their way to and from school.

Vehicle traffic also will pick up near area high schools as young drivers pull into and out of parking lots.

With that out of the way, we want to wish all the students — those excited to get back in the classroom and those mourning the end of their summer vacation — success over the coming months.

We also want to acknowledge the task teachers accept with each academic year as they try to prepare their young charges for the next step along the educational ladder or life in the working world.

Parents have a huge role to play, too, and their participation can determine just how successful the students and teachers will be between now and next spring.

If everyone does their part, we can keep our community’s children safe and on the proper learning curve.

Now, it’s back-to-school time.