Sheriff offers back-to-school safety tips

Sheriff Tommy Allen

September 4, 2013

Our local schools got off to a good and safe start last week, at least from a public safety point of view. We had deputies providing patrol and traffic assistance at all the schools out in the county. The Wadesboro Police Department provided similar assistance at the schools in Wadesboro as did officers in Lilesville and Morven. The N.C. Highway Patrol also has been asked to patrol the school zones. Speeding through a school zone can be a very expensive ticket and is a mandatory court appearance.

I urge everyone to use extra caution around school zones as students, parents and teachers all begin new routines. There may be some traffic congestion around schools especially the first couple of weeks; kids will be excited and parents will sometimes be frustrated with having to hurry up and wait. I encourage everyone to take your time; leave a little earlier than usual; allow for traffic and be very watchful around the schools as buses, cars and children are all coming and going at the same time. After the first few days things generally settle down.

I also remind drivers to watch as buses pick up and unload at bus stops and driveways around the county. Children may get excited and run across a road without looking. It is crucial that parents reinforce school bus safety rules children learned at school. Motorists should remember that passing a stopped school bus is a very serious offense and may cause you to lose your driver’s license along with a heavy fine.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 19 school-age children die in school traffic-related accidents each year. Many more are seriously injured.

By giving yourself a little extra time these first few days and talking with your child about basic safety rules, you will reduce your frustrations as well as your chances of being involved in some tragic accident and increase your child’s safety to and from school. We want this to be a safe school year for everyone.