RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Parents are probably putting the finishing touches on their child's first day of school lunch and making sure the backpack is ready to go. Police are also preparing for the new school year. They want to make sure drivers remember the rules of the road near school zones and buses.
It may be a new school year with new students and new bus routes, but the same rules still apply.
Officers will be out enforcing traffic laws drivers haven't had to follow for more than two months. First thing Tuesday morning, the yellow lights will be flashing, indicating a 25mph speed limit.
Drivers also need to pay attention when a school bus is nearby.
"They need to always anticipate that that bus is going to stop. You never know where it's going to stop. Things change from school year to school year," said Virginia State Police Sgt. Chris Clark.
If that bus stop is at an intersection, all traffic must stop. If you're on a four lane highway with some sort of physical barrier, traffic going in the opposite direction can continue moving. But if the road is not divided, everyone has to stop.
Since some of the rules might have slipped out of your child's head over summer vacation, a refresher course could be helpful. Most importantly, remind them to never run after or around the bus.
Make sure they know to take five giant steps in front of the school bus and can see the driver's face before crossing.
"Just reiterate tonight, make sure they point out to their children: what to do, where to walk in the neighborhoods and how to pay attention," said Sgt. Clark.
The start of the school year, of course, brings more vehicles and traffic to the roads. It might be a good idea to leave a little extra time for your regular morning commute.
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