School starts Thursday, watch for children

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014

School days are here again, which means increased traffic, school buses and children walking to and from school.
The Picayune School District will resume classes Thursday and Picayune Police Department’s Chief Bryan Dawsey would like to remind the community to be aware of road and school zone safety for the 2014-2015 school year.
Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said officers will be out in full force on Thursday morning patrolling school zones to ensure motorists are obeying speed limits, stopping for buses and children and wearing seatbelts.
Patrol commander James Bolton said traffic fines in school zones are doubled during school hours.
The school zone speed limit is 20 miles per hour and is enforced from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the school year.
Officers will be running radar in school zones, Magri said.
Magri advises motorists to pay attention to signage in school zones.
“More children are going to be walking around the schools and walking to and from school and home,” Magri said. “Be aware of marked school crossings and crossing guard’s signals.”
Lieutenant and Juvenile Commander Lamar Thompson said motorists need to be aware that all four-lanes of traffic must come to a complete stop when the bus is stopped on the road with lights flashing and stop sign extended.
The fine for passing a stopped bus is $329 and motorists may call the Picayune Police Department at 601-798-7411 to report drivers passing a stopped bus.
Drivers are asked to get a vehicle description and tag number if possible, Magri said.
Magri said the buses are equipped with mobile radios to notify the bus barn of violations.
The bus barn will then notify the police department.
Drivers need to be more conscientious and aware of school buses loading and disembarking children, Thompson said.
A school resource officer is stationed throughout the different schools in the district for the duration of the school year, Magri said.
Dawsey advises parents to speak with their children about road safety tips that inlcude; look both ways before crossing the street, cross the street in designated school crossings and remind bus riders to remain seated at all times on the bus.
“We are looking forward to a safe and productive school year,” Thompson said.

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