Motorists urged to be mindful of school traffic returning this week

Police Chief Darrel Broussard directs traffic in this file photo.

As students return to school for the fall semester, Cleveland Police Chief Darrel Broussard is encouraging motorists to be mindful of children who may be walking on or near roadways.

“There are many streets in our neighborhoods that don’t have sidewalks and people use the edge of the paved roadway to walk or ride their bicycles. All motorists are being asked to watch for cyclists and pedestrians,” Broussard said.

Motorists are advised to pay attention to the vehicles ahead of them and be alert to drivers making sudden stops.

“We are recommending that drivers take an extra moment or two to look for children at intersections or crosswalks where pedestrians may be waiting to cross the roadway,” he said. “Drivers are warned to slow down. With more families moving into the area and more students attending our schools, it will be a little more congested. Officers have noticed our streets are a lot busier than in the past. Motorists should pay close attention to buses or parents who will be dropping off and picking up children.”

It is paramount to be patient and show courtesy for one another, the chief added.

Drivers should avoid distractions in their vehicles such as cell phones. Use of cell phones in school zones is prohibited where signs are posted.

“Drivers should pay closer attention and stay alert when approaching or traveling in school zones. Officers will be working in school zones and watching for speeders and cell phone violators for the protection of our children,” Broussard said.

Motorists on the highway or public streets are asked to stop before reaching a school bus that is operating flashing warning lights, an indicator that students are loading or unloading the bus. Traffic must stop in either direction for a stopped school bus and may not proceed until the bus resumes motion or the visual warning signal lights are no longer activated.

Anyone in violation of the offense for “Failure to Stop or Remain Stopped for a School Bus” may be charged with a misdemeanor crime punishable by a fine not less than $500 and no more than $1,250. The second conviction could result in the person’s driver license being suspended for six months.

Police, as well as citizens, are being faced with significant population growth and different challenges than ever before, particularly in the Cleveland area where Cleveland ISD has become the fastest-growing school district in the state of Texas.

“Growing pains, planning and coming up with strategies to address public safety have been challenging. Some of these challenges can be frustrating and not clear at first, but there are set rules, guidelines and policies each citizen must comply with. Wishing everyone a great school year, let each of us make a positive impact in our community’s health and safety,” Broussard said.

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