OPD Talks Back To School

Officials remind drivers that passing a stopped school bus is illegal, and this year, the penalties for do so are increased. (photo by Ginger Allsup)

School will be back in session soon. (photo by Ginger Allsup)

It’s hard to believe, but summer is almost over and Oskaloosa students will be returning to school on Monday August 18th. Hundreds of students will be gathering at bus stops, walking and riding their bikes to school and crossing busy streets. The Oskaloosa Police Department reminds all motorists to drive with care and watch for children. Cooperation between motorists and children is paramount in making this a safe school year.

The motoring public can help reduce the risk of children going to and from school by:

– Obeying school bus stop laws – it is unlawful to pass a school bus from either direction when red or amber warning signals are flashing. The driver of a vehicle shall stop no closer than 15 feet from the school bus. This law applies to all bus stops, even in town. There are approximately thirty bus stops throughout Oskaloosa, with the largest stops being at all the former elementary schools.
– Avoiding school zones and bus stops during arrival and dismissal times, 7:25 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. & 3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
– Slowing down in school and residential areas
– Watching for clues that warn of children in the area such as bikes, school buses and school crossing signs
– Clearing fog and snow/ice covered windows before driving
– Obeying all traffic laws
– Never discharge or pick up students in the middle of the road, always pull to the curb and have them cross at the appropriate crosswalk

School Resource Officer Lt. Craig Alexander suggests that all parents instruct their children in the following areas:

– Good citizenship at their bus stop and school– No “bullying” or “horseplay”
– Safe street crossing practices
– Walk their route to school or bus stop several times before school begins
– Never enter the roadway from between parked cars
– Where there is no sidewalk and it is necessary to walk in the road, walk to the far left side, facing traffic
– Use crosswalks and designated school crossings whenever possible
– If your student drives or rides a bike, constantly remind them to obey all traffic laws
– Remind them of “stranger danger” rules

Remember, children are greatly influenced by their peers and imitate the actions of adults, even if they are poor safety models.

With everyone’s cooperation, we can make this a safe and fun school year.

For more information contact Lt. Craig Alexander at 673-3201.

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