Traffic safety urged as schools reopen
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Aug 06, 2013 | 961 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wednesday will be the first full day back to school for the county and city students.

Officials with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and the THP are geared up for safety.

“Drivers need to pay attention. Our roadways, especially in school zones, will have extra traffic and be a little more crowded,” said Capt. W.G. Campbell of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

“We will have traffic issues in the school areas early on, but as motorists learn how to proceed in these crowded zones, it will plane out,” Campbell added.

State troopers will target speeders, distracted drivers and those who disregard stopped school buses that are loading and unloading children, according to Col. Tracy Trott of THP.

State troopers issued 5,247 citations in school zones during the 2012-13 school year. That’s up from 3,856 citations issued in 2011-12. Last year’s citations included 759 speeding violations and two citations for passing a stopped school bus, according to THP information.

“Our priority is to educate motorists on the importance of safe driving practices around school zones and buses and in high-pedestrian traffic areas,” Trott said. “We are also urging motorists who are transporting children to and from school to ensure they are safely restrained in seat belts, booster seats and child restraint devices. This effort stretches far beyond school zones,” Trott added.

According to Campbell, four traffic deaths have been reported in Bradley County this year.

“That is down from 13 this time last year,” Campbell said.

“We are going to be watching for foolish drivers in school zones and along bus routes. Buses carry a precious package and we want to remind drivers not to be passing buses during stops along the route,” Campbell added.

During the past school year, a number of serious bus and passenger vehicle crashes caused injury and even death. An occupant of a vehicle involved in a crash with a bus was fatally injured.

“Slow down and most of all ... don’t let distractions occur. Keep your eyes on the road, for your safety as well as others,” Campbell said.