The 2023-24 school year begins on Wednesday in Jackson Parish. The Louisiana State Police, Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office and Jonesboro Police Department would like to remind all motorists about the importance of safety in and around school zones, while driving near school buses, and when transporting a child.
School Zone Safety:
According to Louisiana law, crossing guards have authority to stop traffic or send traffic through intersections for the safety of students. Please be observant of the crossing guards and the posted speed limits in designated school zones. Be prepared for sudden stops and increased pedestrian/vehicle traffic, especially during drop-off and pick-up times. Be mindful of posted Hands-Free Zones. These particular school zones ban all drivers, even those over 18, from using a cell phone to engage in a call, read/send a text, or use social media. Lessen distractions, stay alert, and always be mindful of children in the area.
School Bus Safety:
When approaching a school bus with flashing red lights, from either direction, traffic must come to a complete stop at least 30 feet away from the bus. Remain stopped until the bus’s stop arm is retracted and the bus resumes motion. Be extra cautious around school buses, as children may quickly enter into the roadway unexpectedly. While many drivers can be confused when to stop for a bus when traveling in the opposite direction, a good rule of thumb is always stop unless on a four-lane road with a physical barrier, a raised median, or continuous turn lane.
Car Seat Safety:
Louisiana law requires children under the age of 13 to ride in the backseat of a vehicle when one is available. For younger children, rear-facing until the age of two and have outgrown the upper limits of the seat by weight or height. Children that are older and are able to face forward must utilize the internal harness to its upper limits, which on most seats that upper limit is 65 pounds. If any caregiver is ever unsure about their child’s seat installation, they are urged to contact their local State Police troop office to consult with a certified child passenger safety technician; this is always a free service.
As a community, we must work together to keep our children safe, whether it be traveling to and from school, to afterschool activities, or work. As a driver, please stay alert and stay safe. Our future is depending on you. – Louisiana State Police
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