MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s back to school for Montgomery Public Schools students next Tuesday. No matter if students are walking, being dropped off, or taking the bus to school, the goal of school leaders is for everyone to arrive safely.
Drivers are being reminded and warned about the laws when it comes to driving in a school zone and passing a school buses.
Keith Edwards Jr. says returning to school is a bitter sweet thought for his daughter and nephew.
“They are really excited school is about to start, but at the same time they are sad summer is about to end,” he said.
While he is focused on making sure they are fully prepared for the first day, Edwards is aware of the traffic he may run into.
“I know there are people who are in a hurry to get to their destinations, but we want to make sure we are going in a safely manner, so that way our children are safe and we are safe,” said Edwards.
MPS Spokesman Tom Salter says they expect to welcome back around 29,000 students. To ensure their safety all drivers are being reminded to obey laws in school zones.
“There are crossing guards at most of the major intersections and areas where children have to cross the roads. We ask every driver near a school zone to be very very careful,” said Salter.
This warning also applies to school buses.
“If the door of the bus is open and that arm is out that says, ‘Stop,’ then you have to stop," said Salter. “It is so important that our children don’t necessarily keep their eyes open so we have to watch for them.”
The Montgomery Police Department provides school patrol officers to help direct traffic and ensure the safety of children crossing the street in school zones. The school patrol officers will be placed in specific areas based upon the needs. School Resource Officers will also assist in school zones, helping school patrol officers and school staff.
MPD said the following are things to keep in mind while traveling in a School Zone:
- Units will enforce the 15 mph school zone speed limits and each ticket issued is a mandatory court appearance for that violation.
- Each school crossing that has a school patrol officer has signs that are rolled into the roadway. Motorists must stay aware of an active school zone.
- Just because you don’t see a school crossing guard, you must still be mindful of the posted school zone times on the roadway.
- Each school has a traffic plan designated for that school, check with your child’s respective school to determine bus lanes, car rider lanes, and walker routes
MPD devotes additional manpower to monitoring school zones during school hours in an attempt to locate truant students and provides a full-time school enforcement unit to the Montgomery Public Schools to be utilized as school resource officers.
In addition to driving concerns, if unsafe/criminal behavior is observed by students commuting to or from school, contact MPD dispatch at 334-241-2651, or if it is an emergency, contact 911.
The 2019-2020 school year for MPS begins Tuesday, Aug. 6.