First Day of School Brings Changes to Traffic Flow
SAN ANGELO, TX -- (Press Release) Today is the first day of school in the San Angelo Independent School District and that means traffic flow changes in school zones.
Speed limits are reduced in school zones and cell phone use is prohibited in school zones as well. Children will be walking or biking to schools as well and school buses will be making frequent stops in neighborhoods picking up and dropping off kiddos.
According to a press release from the San Angelo Police Department last week, the start of the school year can bring a variety of stressors for students and parents alike—for many reasons. Stricter bedtimes, overwhelming shopping lists, first-day outfit blunders, and difficult morning commutes can all be contributing factors to this back-to-school stress.
So how can the SAPD help parents and families stay calm under this new pressure? Well, we cannot control your student’s revolt against their new bedtime. We cannot ensure that local stores have enough school supplies to accommodate those impossibly too specific yet not specific enough school supply lists. We cannot help with first-day outfit blunders either (Although we suggest wearing a uniform….It works for us). What we can do is offer some tips to help with your morning commute.
• Whether you’re driving to school, walking to school or a bus stop, or riding a bike – LEAVE EARLY. Rushing anywhere causes safety issues for other drivers as well as pedestrians. Leaving as little as ten minutes earlier than “needed” can make a big difference in getting everyone where they need to be safely and on time.
• Plan ahead – start practicing routes before school starts. Practice makes perfect.
• Dress for the part - so that drivers can see you better, wear bright-colored clothing and use reflective items on backpacks, bikes, and helmets.
• Initiate a carpool - consider setting up a back-to-school carpool with the parents of four other kids in your neighborhood. This way, you only have to make one trip to school a week, instead of five and it means less vehicles to navigate congested school zones.
• Safety First – teach students to obey red lights, stops signs, and other traffic signals like vehicles do. If they’re riding a bike, teach them to use appropriate hand signals like extending your left arm straight out and perpendicular to the body to make a left turn.
A Reminder to All Drivers on the Road: Anyone getting behind the wheel needs to be an attentive, responsible, and cool-headed driver. While this is sound advice for any driver at any time of the year, it is even more important during the school year.
• Speed: Signs in all school zones are not for decoration. Slow down on the approach to school zones and obey the school zone speed limit.
• Distractions: Driving while distracted is more than just using your cell phone to text or call, it includes a myriad of other tasks that people seem to think are ok to perform behind the wheel. Distracted driving includes eating, adjusting the radio and other settings, applying make-up, and generally any other distraction that takes your eyes of the road or hands off the wheel. Whatever it is, it can wait until the car is stopped.
• Intersections: When approaching intersections, medians and curbs, take a few extra seconds to look for pedestrians. Also, remember that crossing-guards have the authority to stop traffic in school zones.
• If you approach a school bus from either direction and the bus is displaying alternately flashing red lights, you must stop. Do not pass the school bus until: the school bus has resumed motion, or you are signaled by the driver to proceed, or the red lights are no longer flashing. Violators in San Angelo will face a fine of $604.10 for the first offense and $1,104.10 for a second offense if the driver has received a previous conviction of the offense within five years.
From the SAPD family to yours, have a great school year and safe travels everyone!