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Make student safety a priority

It is that time of year again: school bells will ring and buses will fill area streets. It’s a good time to remember traffic safety, especially if you travel by or live near a school. More children are hit by vehicles near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more school-age pedestrians have been killed between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. than any other time of day.

Brookhaven police and school officials have worked out a few changes to student dropoff and pick-up at Alexander Jr. High and Mamie Martin Elementary.  Police will have signage to alert parents to the changes. The changes are designed to make the streets near the schools safer for children.

“Please be patient and kind. Together we can make this work. Safety is our main priority,” Police Chief Kenneth Collins said.

All motorists should be on the lookout for students and buses, and obey traffic laws on streets near schools. In Brookhaven, it’s not uncommon to see children walking to school. Pay attention to those students if you are driving on their street. Give them plenty of room; young students may not pay attention to traffic.

There are also a few rules to keep in mind regarding school buses:

• Never pass a bus if it is stopped to load or unload children.

• Traffic must stop if a bus has flashing lights or has its “stop” arm extended.

• Give buses plenty of room, while they are moving and when they are stopped.

• Always be alert to children approaching a stopped bus.

• Be aware that some streets near schools may close or have reduced speed limits during school hours.

If we all make student safety a priority, this school year can be a safe one.