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SC Highway Patrol urges drivers to use care as children return to school

State Troopers are asking drivers to be aware behind the wheel as children prepare to return to...
State Troopers are asking drivers to be aware behind the wheel as children prepare to return to school in the coming days.
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 3:28 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2021 at 10:47 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - State Troopers are asking drivers to be aware behind the wheel as children prepare to return to school in the coming days.

“During the first few weeks of school, children and motorists are getting acclimated again to sharing the road, learning bus routes, and carpool lines,” South Carolina Department of Public Safety Director Robert Woods IV said. “Troopers will increase patrols around school zones and bus routes, but we need the public and parents’ help to make sure children are safe as they return to school.”

The Highway Patrol is also asking parents, guardians and teachers to talk with their children about getting on and off the bus safely as well as pedestrian safety. Parents and guardians should also closely supervise their children around bus stops and in school zones, troopers say.

Highway Patrol Col. Christopher Williamson cautions motorists to watch for signs and signals when approaching a school bus and be prepared to stop.

“One of the primary messages we want to convey to motorists is to watch for children and know when to stop for a school bus stop arm,” Williamson said.

Troopers will be conducting special enforcement around schools, focusing on violations such as speed, aggressive driving and safety belt and child restraint violations.

Historically, the majority of collisions around schools occur during the 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. time frames. Motorists should expect to see an increased law enforcement presence, especially from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., when children will be going to and from school.

In the coming weeks, troopers also will be visiting schools to speak with teachers and parents about keeping children safe as they return to school.

Parents and schools are urged to visit the SCDPS website on back-to-school safety that includes helpful safety tips and short videos that teachers can use for the classroom.

SCDPS plans to share important safety information on its social media channels about school buses and school zones.

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