Our Opinion: In the zone for school safety

Motorists will find themselves in a different zone beginning this week.

School zones will become active as classes resume for the start of a new school year.

A number of area public and private schools begin this week. Among them, Helias Catholic and Calvary Lutheran high schools open Wednesday, followed by both Jefferson City and Blair Oaks public schools on Thursday.

Traffic volumes and patterns will change, and enforcement of speed limits and traffic laws will increase.

Motorists can expect additional vehicle traffic, including younger, inexperienced drivers.

Crossing guards will resume duties, school zone signals will be activated and youngsters will be walking and bicycling to and from school.

In addition, school buses will resume routes, stopping frequently to pick up and discharge passengers.

The change in traffic conditions coupled with the energy and exhilaration of young people crossing roadways requires motorists to be both patient and attentive.

Law enforcement officers once again will step up patrols in and around school zones to prevent violations and promote safety.

The rules regarding school buses, school zones and crossing guards are well documented.

The common denominator for motorists is to use common sense.

Plan ahead and allow extra time for morning commutes to avoid being rushed. Be observant, cautious and expect the unexpected.

A safe start for the new school year is a responsibility we all share.

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