With local students preparing to return to public classrooms in Carbon County, motorists are reminded to drive cautiously and follow the laws pertaining to school zone safety.
School zones are developed to maintain the safety of the children throughout the county and state.
Following the laws governing traffic in school zones will ensure that the safety of local children will not be compromised.
According to local and state traffic officials, there are two common types of school zones - crosswalks and reduced speed limit areas.
The first designation is defined as a marked crosswalk designated on a school access routing plan where a reduced speed limit is not in use.
Typical signs for the first kind of zone are the school advance warning assembly and the crosswalk warning assembly signs.
The second common type of school zone is a section of highway or street before a crosswalk that has a reduced speed limit of 20 miles per hour.
The reduced speed limit sign is attached to flashing red lights that, when in use by students, drop the regular speed limit to 20 mph.
The reduced speed limit applies from the assembly to the "end school zone" sign.
In addition, public safety officials stressed the importance of motorists watching for pedestrians who are crossing or preparing to cross a busy road during the entire year.
When crossing guards are not available to man certain areas, it is up to drivers to watch and prepare for pedestrians to come out onto the road at any time, pointed out the public safety officials.
Pedestrians should also be aware of everything that is happening.
Pedestrians should always walk on the sidewalk when one is available.
If a sidewalk is not available, they should walk facing traffic so all vehicles can be seen by the pedestrian and the pedestrian can be seen by passing vehicles.
Pedestrians should also dress to be seen.
Brightly colored clothing can make it easier for drivers to see someone walking during the daytime.
At night, pedestrians should wear special reflective material on shoes, hats or jackets to reflect headlights of passing vehicles.
Parents of Carbon County school children should remind the youth to make educated decisions before starting to cross local streets and highways, advised the public safety officials.
When moving from one side of the street to the other, pedestrians of all ages should always remember to enter the roadways only at corners or marked crosswalks.
Stopping at the curb or the edge of the road to look both ways for oncoming traffic should also be practiced by all pedestrians, regardless of ages.
If an approaching motor vehicle can be seen, pedestrians should wait for it to pass then look both ways again.
Pedestrians should continue to watch for cars as they cross the street.
Also of importance to school children's safety is the need for drivers to follow laws regarding bus safety.
Passing a school bus may seem unimportant but exiting children are at an increased risk of being injured or killed if motorists do not pay close attention.
Most drivers are unaware of the laws pertaining to following and stopping behind school buses while children are loading and unloading.
Law states that the driver of a vehicle that is meeting or overtaking a stopped school bus from either direction must stop before reaching the school bus when its flashing red lights are in operation. The driver must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the flashing red lights are no longer in operation.
The red lights of a bus should only be in use by the bus driver when the vehicle is stopped on the road for the purpose of picking up or dropping off school children.
Drivers on highways with separate roadways need not stop upon the meeting or passing of a school bus which is on a different roadway or when upon a controlled-access highway and the school bus is stopped in a loading zone which is part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.