Back to School
It's time to start back to school again. We need to
get back in the habit of knowing where our neighborhood schools are. In
Springfield, there are more than 40 public and private elementary schools.
These schools are scattered across the city. Each morning and afternoon
that school is in session, a school speed zone is in effect. The speed
limit is 20 mph for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon.
It is vital that we obey these speed limits as our children's lives are
at stake. These schools include kindergarten through fifth grade. Some
of these children are five years old and very small. A parked car can
obscure their view of you and your view of them. At these young ages they
may not realize the importance of looking before they walk or run out
into the path of your car. Driving at 20 mph will give you more time to
react and avoid striking them. Springfield Traffic Officers place school
zone speed enforcement as one of our highest priorities. We will be out
in full force to assist in slowing down the traffic around these locations.
School buses will again become a common sight on our city streets. The law requires a motorist to stop when the buses are loading or unloading children. Motorists behind and meeting the bus are required to stop. If the bus is on a road with four lanes or more, the oncoming traffic need not stop. Another safety issue is for parents to ensure that their children's coats and backpacks do not have loose cords attached to them. Children have had these cords become entangled in the bus doors as they exited the bus. The drivers have thought the child was safely off the bus, but as the bus drove away the children have been dragged.
As citizens we must protect our children. Traffic accidents are one of the deadliest hazards our children face. Let's do our part when we pass these schools by slowing down, watching, and expecting the unexpected.