Volume 51, Number 43

fourteen pages

Byrdstown, Tennessee 38549 -- Thursday, October 23, 2014

THP gears up for back to school enforcement

The Tennessee Highway
Patrol is working to make
sure that school children are
safe in the school zone. As
thousands of students of all
ages return to the classroom
on foot and in school buses,
motorists need to be extra
cautious in and around
schools zones.
“One of the first lessons a
child learns as they begin
their formal education is how
to be safe going to and from
school,” stated Department of
Safety Commissioner Dave
Mitchell. “The goal of the Tennessee
Highway Patrol is to
help local law enforcement
and schools protect children
from drivers who may be distracted,
impatient or careless.”
Motorists and children
should heed State Troopers’
message to “Be alert! Slow
down! Be safe in the school
zone!” THP’s back to school
enforcement effort includes
cracking down on motorists
who disregard laws designed
to protect children, and monitoring
schools zones and bus
stops to help keep children
safe as they travel to and from
school. Remember, the speed
limit is 15 mph in school
zones and the fine for speeding
in a school zone is up to
$500.00 dollars. It’s also
against the law to pass a
school bus when stopped and
receiving or discharging passengers
and the driver can be
fined not less than $250.00
and up to $1,000.00.
Since 2006, there has been
an 11.5 percent decrease in
the number of crashes occurring
in school zones between
the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
and the hours of 2 p.m. to 5
p.m. There was also a 17.4
percent decline in the number
of school bus-related crashes
between those same hours.
“Motorists need to remember
that a school zone is more
than just the 15-mile perhour-
zone around a school.
It’s anywhere our children
travel,” stated Tennessee
Highway Patrol Colonel Mike
Walker. “Children riding with
parents or friends need to remember
to buckle up properly.
That means kids in seats
belts, young kids in booster
seats and little kids in a child
safety seats.”
Each day, 25 million children
in the United States ride
school buses, including
600,000 in Tennessee, according
to the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA).
The National Safety Council
(NSC) reports approximately
29 students were
killed while they were entering
or exiting a bus in the U.S.
last year. Close to 800 children
are killed annually and
many more injured going to
and from school in a vehicle
other than a school bus, according
to the NSC.
The Tennessee Department
of Safety’s mission is
(www.TN.Gov/safety) to ensure
the safety and general
welfare of the public.
The department encompasses
the Tennessee Highway
Patrol, Office of
Homeland Security and
Driver License Services. General
areas of responsibility include
law enforcement, safety
education, motorist services
and terrorism prevention.

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