School Starts – Reminder to Use Caution

The start of the new school year on Tuesday, September 5th, means that our area students will be arriving and departing from school at already high traffic volume times during the day. With that said, I’d like to touch on a couple of reminders for area motorists to keep in mind.

The first reminder is concerning pedestrian safety. Many students in our school district walk to and from school, with their routes to school undoubtedly taking them through busy intersections. Operators of motor vehicles must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian, bicycle, or person using a personal assistive mobility device at intersections, both controlled and uncontrolled intersections.

To assist with the student’s pedestrian safety, the Jefferson School Adult Crossing Guard, Bill Hall, will once again be at the intersection of N. Main St. and W. Third St. When the crossing guard enters the intersection displaying a stop sign, all four directions of traffic are required to stop until all people have crossed the intersection and the crossing guard has returned safely to the curb.

In addition to pedestrian safety is school bus safety. Stopping for red flashing warning lights on a school bus has been a state law for decades. Under state regulation that went into effect August 16th, 2016, school buses in Wisconsin built after January 1, 2005 must have amber lights to alert drivers that the bus is about to activate its flashing red warning lights while coming to a stop.

The flashing amber lights should be a signal to drivers that the school bus is preparing to stop, so drivers need to slow down, pay attention and proceed carefully. Drivers are allowed to pass a moving school bus with flashing amber lights, but they should do so cautiously. However, once the school bus displays flashing red warning lights, drivers both in front of and behind the school bus must stop at least 20 feet from the school bus and remain stopped until the red lights are turned off or the bus resumes travel. Drivers must stop even if the red stop-sign arm on the side of the school bus is not extended.

Please keep these points in mind to help keep our students travels to and from school safe.

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