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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Back to school: Police patrol for school zone safety

  • After a nice summer break, it’s back-to-school-time for area students, so police will be watching for speeders in school zones.
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  • After a nice summer break, it’s back-to-school-time for area students, so police will be watching for speeders in school zones.
    On the first day of school last year, Shawnee police officers wrote 18 tickets for drivers speeding in school zones and even made one arrest. Many of those violations were by the Shawnee Early Childhood Center.
    Shawnee Police Sgt. Dan Shumaker said officers are planning extra enforcement as the school year kicks off in efforts to help keep area children safe. Shawnee students return to class on Wednesday.
    “We’ll be out in force,” Shumaker said. “We’re really serious about children’s safety.”
    The department also will utilize its speed trailer, which alerts drivers of their speeds in posted school zones while also keeping a record. The trailer will be rotated around town as drivers readjust to school zones.
    Shumaker, who said the speed limit in most Oklahoma school zones is 25 mph or less, also reminds drivers it also is unlawful to drive around a stopped bus.
    While speeding in school zones can net drivers hundreds of dollars in citations, failure to stop for a school bus can result in drivers losing their driver license altogether, he said.
    “It’s illegal to pass a school bus that’s loading or unloading,” he added.
    Shumaker also reminds drivers to watch for children who may be walking to school.
    He encourages parents to remind their children to never cross the street without looking both ways and to never run into the road.
    Shumaker also offers the following tips for drivers:
    • Always be alert, cautious and patient around children, crosswalks, bus stops, schools, school buses and school parking lots.
    • When approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and its stop arms extended, motorists traveling in both directions are required to STOP in nearly every instance.
    • Obey all traffic laws and speed limits, paying extra attention to the lower speed limits in school zones.
    • Do not pass other vehicles in school zones or at crosswalks.
    • Do not change lanes or make U-turns in school zones.
    • Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.
    • Do not text or use a cell phone while driving.
    • Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.
     
     
     

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