With students heading back to school this week, law enforcement officials reminded New Yorkers to be extra careful on the roads, especially during morning rush hour.
Law enforcement officials from across Onondaga County came together Tuesday to tell drivers that with the return of school, necessary changes to driving are needed.
They said people tend to get used to not having buses on the roads, or not following school zone speed limits as carefully. That’s why they encouraged all drivers to put down their devices when driving and carve out some extra time to leave home early in the morning, knowing that buses will be on the roads and school speed limits are in effect.
what you need to know
- Law enforcement and school transportation officials held an event in Solvay to emphasize the importance of driving safely with children heading back to school.
- They stressed the dangers of speeding and distracted driving, urged drivers to take extra time in the morning now that school buses will be on the roads, and said school speed limits will be strictly enforced.
- They said officers will not hesitate to ticket drivers who do not follow traffic rules and put students in danger.
“Those 10 minutes may be all it takes to prevent a tragedy,” said Chief Derek Osbeck of the Solvay Police Department. “It’s easy to get into a new routine. It’s been three months since the kids are in school, so going back to the routine of having buses in the street, kids crossing the street in front of us, and we don’t have that extra time.”
Osbeck said it’s important for all of us to remember that whether we have children or not, we play a key role in keeping them safe.
“School safety starts from the moment they leave the residence until they return to their families in the afternoon,” he said.
He said the main dangers for children going to and from school are distracted driving and speeding, emphasizing the impact both have on drivers’ ability to react in an emergency.
“Put everything in the car,” he said. “Distracted driving causes more accidents than speeding, so combine speeding and distraction and you’ll never be able to react to a child’s actions if they run out in the middle of the street.”
He said that while he and his fellow officers understand the gibberish that comes out of the house in the morning, the officers encourage everyone to do what they can to give themselves a little more time and not have to rush.
They said doing so could save a life.
“We know it’s a rat race in the morning as a parent. We are never as prepared as you try, but doing as much as you can in advance should ease some of the burden of the morning panic so hopefully that first day starts off the right way,” he said. .
Officers warn drivers that if you don’t follow the rules of the road, including school speed limits and stopping for school buses, officers won’t be afraid to give you a ticket.