Monday, August 1st is the first day of school for the Indianapolis Public Schools- the state’s largest school district. Many of Marion County school districts have already headed back to school or will be heading back in the coming weeks.
While students will be adjusting to a more structured schedule motorists will be adjusting to increased pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic. Although it’s always a good idea to drive with caution near school zones, it is vital that motorists know and obey posted school zone speed limits when they are in effect. New this year in many school zones are the new signs that have flashing amber lights indicating school is in session, and the posted speed limit is 25 mph. These signs replace the old signs that indicated the speed limit was 25 mph 7 AM to 4:30 PM. These new signs, expected to run through 2017, are being installed by the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Works.
IMPD, along with cooperating school district police, will be out enforcing school zone speed limits to remind drivers of the dangers of driving too fast in school zones.
Please allow extra time to reach your destination as residents should expect increased traffic through the week during the morning and afternoon hours. Parents are also reminded, when dropping their children off at school, to avoid traveling more than 5 mph while in the parking lot and be very attentive to the possibility of wandering children or children exiting from a school bus or vehicles.
It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus with flashing red lights. Doing so is considered Reckless Driving and is subject to possible arrest or summons and a fine. IMPD strives to promote the safety and welfare of both children and adults. We ask for your help in making it a great start to the new school year for the thousands of children going back to school.
Please use common sense when passing through a school zone — SLOW DOWN!
IMPD Safety Tips:
Walking to and from school:
• Consider if your child is mature enough to walk to school
• Consider walking with your child the first week
• Make sure your child’s walk to school is a safe route, and they cross whenever possible where a crossing guard is present
• Always walk on a sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk on the road, always walk FACING traffic
• Walk in groups
• Before crossing the street, stop and look left, then right, then left again
Biking to and from school:
• Always wear a helmet, no matter how short the ride
• Ride on the right side, the same direction as traffic
• Be seen – Be aware – Be predictable
• Respect traffic lights and stop signs
• Remember to always walk your bike across a crosswalk
Riding a School bus to and from school:
• Arrive at bus stop at least 5 minutes before bus is scheduled to arrive
• When bus approaches stay back until bus stops and driver opens doors
• NEVER walk behind the bus
• If you drop something near a bus tell the bus driver
• Use handrails when entering or exiting bus
• Always remain seated on a bus
SOURCE: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department