2017-08-02 / Front Page

School starts Friday – watch for school buses!

By Deborah Bennett
Millen News editor

The 2017-2018 school year will officially open for local students on Friday, August 4th, under the leadership of Jenkins County School Superintendent Tara Cooper. Mrs. Cooper administers the work of the school system under the direction of a five member Board of Education as follows: Chairman Danny Bennett, Vice-Chair Mary Young, Roy Cook, George Parker and Mike Reese.

The return of students to school means more traffic, increased congestion and the need for extra safety precautions.

As back-to-school season gets into full swing, the Georgia Department of Transportation urges drivers to put safety first – especially in and around school zones, buses and children. From school buses loading and unloading, to kids walking and biking, to parents dropping off and picking up - dangers abound.

Pay attention to school zone flashing beacons, and obey school zone speed limits.

Obey school bus laws. Stop behind/do not pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

If the lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, opposing traffic must stop unless it is on a divided highway with a grass or concrete median. Watch for students gathering near bus stops, and for kids arriving late, who may dart into the street. Children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

Talmadge Fries, Transportation Director, Jenkins County School System, encourages parents and students to be aware of the following school bus rules and safe loading and unloading regulations for Jenkins County Students.

No cell phones on the bus. Students are not allowed to use cell phones, Ipods and other electronic devices and ear buds or blue tooth devices while on the bus. Students are to stay 12 feet from the roadway while waiting on the bus. Students should be ready at bus stop five minutes before stop. Students should have all books in their book bag if possible. Students cannot use ear buds or other listening devices while boarding or exiting the bus or at railroad crossings. Students cannot cross the road behind the bus, always cross the road in front of the bus. Students can only board the bus at their assigned stop. If a student misses the bus, do not run behind or chase the bus, go back home and have a parent or guardian transport you to school. Parents should not chase down the bus in the car, this is very dangerous and not acceptable.

If a student must cross the roadway, the student is to wait for the drivers hand signal before attempting to cross the road. The student should stop at the road and look both ways before crossing. The driver will only blow the horn in case of an emergency or immediate danger. The bus does not blow horn to alert students the bus is at their stop. When a student exits the bus, they should go directly to their home, do not stop and look in the mail box or do other things. Or when a student exits the bus at school, go directly to the school. Do not stand at the door of the bus. If a student misses a bus at school, go to the office and call for someone to come get you, do not chase after the bus.

According to the National Safety Council, most children who lose their lives in school bus-related incidents are four to seven years old, walking and are hit by the bus or a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus.

Whenever you drive – be alert and expect the unexpected. By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in and around school zones.

Return to top