Back to School Safety Campaign in Full Force

by Dan Lesniak

With school back in session, the Arlington County Police Department is campaigning for School Safety all across the county. Traffic laws are being enforced with plenty of officers on the road watching for drivers who are not following the school zone speeds and for pedestrians who are not crossing streets at designated crosswalks. Every fall we have to get back into the swing of high activity around school zones as parents and busses get children to school, changing the traffic dynamics in the morning and afternoon. There is also another new safety feature which everyone should be aware of.

Some school busses have been equipped with a series of 6 cameras to help capture traffic violators when a bus is picking up or dropping off children. It is illegal to pass any school bus with red flashing lights and the stop arm out. Regardless of the direction you are traveling, when the lights are on, cars must be stopped. This safety law helps save lives every year, but unfortunately there are still some who do not heed these rules. In an effort to keep the roads safe for kids on busses, the police department in conjunction with American Traffic Solutions and Arlington Public Schools, have equipped several busses with cameras that are connected to the police department. Much like signal cameras, the bus cameras are set up to capture moving violations and license plate numbers, which are sent to the police to determine if a violation has occurred and then issue a citation. Anyone who passes a school bus with the safety lights on can get a citation of up to $250. The number of busses with the cameras has not been released, and the cameras are not readily visible, so that drivers will need to assume there is a camera on any bus they come across, and drive accordingly, with safety in mind.

There are many ways that both drivers and pedestrians can help ensure safety around schools as well. The Arlington County Police have released the following reminders now that kids are back at school.

Drivers should:

  • Pay attention to the road and avoid distracted driving, such as using a cell phone or texting.
  • Do not pass any stopped school bus loading or unloading students.
  • Obey school zone speed limits and be aware of the times these are in force.
  • Watch for children riding bikes and walking to school.
  • All passengers and drivers should wear a seatbelt at all times.

Pedestrians should:

  • Always use designated sidewalks and paths, never walk (or bike) on the road itself.
  • Look before you cross a street, left, right and left again is a standard rule of thumb, and be sure to follow directions from school crossing guards.
  • Always cross streets at marked crosswalks and signals and do not cross against a red light.

Keeping these safety measures in mind will help everyone in our community, most importantly our children. If you are ready to live in our incredible community, myself and the Orange Line Living team, are here to provide you with our unique and specialized services so you can turn your dreams into reality. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us directly at 571-969-7653 or at [email protected]

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