CUMMING, Ga. — Forsyth County Schools is taking a closer look at school bus safety procedures as the school year winds down.
The district is pushing stricter enforcement on child safety precautions for students and parents. Students are being informed of the steps required for safety when exiting the bus at their stop.
“This is an annual reminder for our parents. Since we grow with around 1,800 new students annually, it helps to remind our parents and guardians, especially those that are finishing their first year with us,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, Forsyth County Schools spokeswoman. “For many years, we have had a strong partnership with local law enforcement, from School Resource Officers to bus safety. Additionally, our bus drivers actively educate students on safe bus stop and safe bus rider practices. When you are transporting precious cargo, bus safety is important to all on the roads.”
When residents voiced concerns over the careless driving seen around school zones and bus stops, authorities cracked down on unsafe traffic behavior that could endanger students. The schools work with the Sheriff’s Office to eliminate dangerous scenarios and reckless driving.
“Although the Sheriff’s Office conducts school zone enforcement year round, we decided to concentrate more officers within the school zones to remind our citizens to slow down,” said Cpl. Kevin Pittman, Traffic Unit supervisor. “We conducted school zone enforcement in many schools throughout the county and prioritized our school zone enforcement based on complaints, traffic volume and amount of unsafe driving violations observed.”
The program was conducted over the course of five days earlier this month with noticeable results. Among many violations, the effort resulted in 114 speeding warnings and 91 speeding citations. Parents and residents have responded positively to the heightened enforcement and the Sheriff’s Office has received notable praise both on-site and through their Facebook page. Pittman said heightened monitoring of school zones will continue.
“Concentrating on unsafe driving behavior in school zones is essential to basic traffic safety. It also sets a reminder early for our new teen drivers ensuring they slow down and respect the speed limits,” Pittman said.