Kids are back in school and that means school zone safety is a top priority for the Claremore Police Department. Each morning and afternoon, officers are on patrol looking for distracted drivers, speeders and any other danger to students.
“We are putting more officers on patrol in school zones,” said Charles Downum, Assistant Chief of Police.
Back to school safety is not only a priority; it is an issue the entire community should be aware of, according to Downum.
“Pay attention to kids in the roadway or waiting at bus stops,” he said. “Watch for children walking to school.”
CPD is looking to avoid major traffic concerns and traffic was “pretty smooth” the first day of school, according to Downum.
The staggered start times have helped ease crowding, he said.
Parents can do a number of things to help keep their children safe. Watch your kids to make sure they get into the building.
If kids are walking remind them not to talk to strangers, don’t enter in a car they don’t know and get to school as soon as they can, Downum said.
For the kids that have to wait at the bus stop, remind them to pay attention to their surroundings. If students have a cell phone, then call the police if there is any issue, he said.
School Resource Officer Robin Blair is back in the schools and ready to help with any issue.
Parents and community members can call the police department at (918) 341-1212 if they have any safety or traffic concerns, Downum said.
The concern for safety goes beyond speeding. However officers would like to remind citizens that citations for speeding in school zones are more expensive than in other areas. Additionally, speeding in a school zone carries a varied fine depending on speed of the vehicle.
“We encourage everyone to drive slower and be patient. School zones do slow down traffic,” Downum said.
Top Back to School Safety Tips
Here are some simple reminders for drivers:
• Slow down and be especially alert in the residential neighborhoods and school zones
• Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
• Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours
• Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving
Reminder for your kids:
• They should cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old
• Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
• Never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars
• Make sure they always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them
Tips provided by www.safekids.org.