State police participating in AAA’s “School’s Open – Drive Carefully” safety campaign
Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 7:50 am

The commander of State Police Troop B says they are once again participating in the American Automobile Association’s annual “School’s Open – Drive Carefully” safety campaign by putting bumper stickers that say that on their patrol vehicles.

Troop B Commander Major Richard Smith says the AAA program publicizes the effort to safeguard school children during the “back to school” period when drivers get reaccustomed to preparing to stop for stopped school buses and children walking to school.

“As the summer season comes to an end, thousands of children will be boarding buses and walking to and from school, some of them for the first time,” Smith said. “Everyone who drives has a responsibility to be especially careful during this busy time, and the ‘School’s Open – Drive Safely’ bumper stickers will help remind motorists to be alert for these youngsters.”

The AAA and the troopers also recommend that children look both ways before crossing streets, that they cross only at corners, play away from traffic, watch for turning cars, and obey the directions of crossing guards and police officers.

The major also recommended that parents and guardians take their youngsters along the route to and from school before letting them do it alone, and that kids should stick to that route.

He also says children should wear brightly colored or reflective clothing in bad weather and in the dark for maximum visibility.

The state police want to remind drivers that state law requires all vehicles to stop when meeting or overtaking school buses stopped with red lights flashing as they pick up or drop off passengers. Failure to comply carries with it the knowledge that a child could gave been endangered, while a conviction carries a minimum fine of $250.