Sheriff Encourages Safety

Sheriff Encourages Safety as School Opens

LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin is reminding citizens and especially motorists in the area that schools will be back in session this week, which means it’s time to be extra careful.

“Our children will be going to and from school daily and I would ask all of you to take extra time and be extremely careful in school zones as well as at bus stops,” he said.

“Motorists should plan on longer commutes and follow the speed limit in school zones,” he encouraged.

Sheriff Franklin said his department, as well as town police departments in the parish, will be watching for speeders and those who break traffic laws.

He also pointed out that it is unlawful for any motorist to pass a stopped school bus while it is loading or unloading students. Remember, all traffic in both directions must come to a complete stop for school buses that are stopped, displaying the “stop” sign.

Motorists are also reminded to take extra precaution at school bus stops where eager youngsters, many riding the bus for the first time, may dart into the street or roadway as the bus arrives.

Here are some safety rules to pass along to children that ride a school bus:

• Arrive at your bus stop at least five minutes early and stand at least ten feet away from the roadway.

• Be sure to wait until the bus stops, the door opens and the bus driver says it’s all right to enter before stepping onto the bus.

• Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps or dangling objects do not get caught in the handrail or door when exiting the bus.

• Pedestrians should always walk in front of the bus, never behind the bus.

• Remember if you can’t see the bus driver, he or she cannot see you.

• After getting off the school bus, stop at the edge of the bus and look both ways before crossing.

• If you were to drop something beside the bus, make sure to tell the driver before attempting to pick it up.

• Students who walk to school should do so on a sidewalk if it is available.

• If there is no sidewalk, students should walk against the flow of traffic.

• Those who ride a bicycle should remember to ride with the flow of traffic and follow all traffic signs and signals.

• Remember, students are required to wear a bicycle helmet.

“As schools open for another year, please take the extra time needed and watch out for our most precious resource, our children,” Franklin said. “It is the hope of all of us who are part of your Sheriff’s Office that our children and teachers have a successful school year.”