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Caution urged for school zones
With throngs of students returning to class Thursday, Glynn County School System Police Chief Rod Ellis is asking motorists to slow down in school zones and to give school buses plenty of space on the roadways.

Drivers are required to reduce speeds when students are arriving at and departing from schools. Ellis is asking motorists to be overcautious.

School zones where drivers frequently disregard the speed limit are Altama Elementary on Altama Avenue and Jane Macon Middle School and Sterling Elementary at McKenzie Road and U.S. 341 in Sterling.

"It's always a problem," Ellis said. "We have a few (drivers) who pass those school zones too fast. People should realize officers don't have to give them 10 mph with the radar rules in the school zone. People just need to slow it down."

Yellow flashing lights warning motorists to slow down usually begin 30 minutes before and after arrival and departure.

Motorists also need to be patient and aware when encountering school buses on the roadway, he said. School buses stop at all railroad crossings and stop frequently to pick up and drop off students.

Ellis said motorists who disregard the stop signs on school buses put children at a terrible risk.

"We have a lot of problems with people following too closely to school buses and whipping around them when they've got those stop signs engaged," Ellis said. "The drivers are so close to the rear of the bus they don't see the sign get deployed."

This is less of a problem in residential neighborhoods, but on larger streets some drivers are simply unaware of their obligation to stop, he said.

"On a four-lane highway, unless there's a divider or median, you have to stop on all four lanes. People going in the opposite lane sometimes don't adhere to that," Ellis said.

Help out

Anyone with questions or concerns about school safety can call Glynn County School System Police Chief Rod Ellis at 267-4100, ext. 7111.

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