Slow down, buckle up

Published 1:06 am Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not only are students going back to schools in the coming days, so are law-enforcement agencies, sort of.

Police officers, deputy sheriffs and, of course, Highway Patrol troopers will be patrolling school zones in efforts to battle inappropriate driving behaviors. To emphasize safe driving near schools, those law-enforcement agencies, as they do at the beginning of each new school year, will conducted concentrated efforts to reduce speeding, careless and, yes, impaired driving near school zones by teenage drivers and veteran drivers alike.

Look for speed-limit and seat-belt laws to be rigorously enforced.

Enforcement efforts in a specific school zone depend on the type of school. At elementary schools, the focus is on seat-belt use and use of child restraints. At high schools, the focus is on speeding, particularly by teenage drivers.

Statistics show that many traffic collisions involving teens occur during their commutes to and from school. Traffic collisions are the leading cause of teens’ deaths in North Carolina and across the nation.

With the awareness that a new school year is beginning, there should be a corresponding awareness to drive safely at all times and places, but especially so around schools and during school hours.

Sgt. Tim Crumpler with the Highway Patrol’s office in Washington said there’s no doubt the concentrated efforts to improve motorists’ driving behaviors at the start of each school year work. Why such efforts? Simply put, it’s a matter of life or death.

Slow down and buckle up.