Weatherford Democrat

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August 25, 2013

Public school doors swing open Monday morning

Thousands of area children, educators begin new year

From Staff Reports

Weatherford ISD students, as well as students in public schools across the area, will begin a new school year Monday morning.

In Weatherford, the first school bells ring shortly after 8 a.m. on some campuses, but the school day will actually begin much earlier than that. The first school bus stop – on Route 21 – is scheduled for 5:55 a.m. at 6490 Horseshoe Bend Road.

With that, police and DPS are asking motorists to be alert Monday and watch for children walking to or from bus stops or waiting for their morning bus to arrive. Motorists are asked to slow down and obey school zones, including the cell-phone free law, and to obey rules concerning stopped buses that are loading or unloading children.

“As the new school year opens, I urge drivers to do their part in keeping youngsters safe by obeying school zone speed limits and stopping for school buses,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS will not tolerate individuals who disregard the law and illegally pass stopped school buses.”

One of the most dangerous times of a student’s trip on a school bus is when they are entering or exiting the bus. Drivers are cautioned to slow down and pay attention in school zones since children may not be looking for oncoming traffic when they step into a roadway.

State law requires that approaching drivers stop when a bus is stopped and operating a visual signal – either red flashing lights or a stop sign. Drivers should not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, the driver is signaled by the bus driver to proceed or the visual signal is no longer activated. A driver does not have to stop for a school bus if it is on a highway with roadways separated by an intervening space or physical barrier. If a highway is divided only by a left-turn lane, the roadways are not separated and drivers must stop for school buses.

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