Officials urge caution and safety on the road as kids go back to school

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WLAX/WEUX) – Kids return to school this week after spending much of the last school year virtual. Many families haven’t dealt with typical school mornings and afternoons. First News at Nine’s Leeann Stapleton has tips to help keep parents and students safe on the road.

“People are not use to seeing schools full right now so always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings,” said Eau Claire police officer Josh Miller.

Miller says now that schools are back and in-person, to be extra cautious in the morning and in the afternoon. “Be alert if you’re entering a school zone as always stay off your phone,” said Miller, “avoid distractions and keep kids safe.”

When in a school zone, Miller says to be mindful of the speed the limit. “The 15 mile an hour school speed limit is generally enforced when kids are coming to school and being released from school.”

Marty Klukas is the General Manager at Student Transit. He says school buses have signs to let you know when to stop for students who are getting on or off the bus.

“When you’re down low and we’re using what we call the hazard lights you can pass with caution,” said Klukas. “But when they’re yellow up top that’s danger-danger Will Robinson, be prepared to stop because those amber lights will turn to red when the driver stops and opens up the door.”

Klukas says there’s a hefty fine for not stopping for a school bus and points off your license.

“So if we capture the plate and an accurate description of the car we pass that along to law enforcement officials and they take action from there,” said Klukas.

“Anytime you see a school bus with its red flashing lights on you need to stop at least 20 feet in front of or behind the school bus,” said Miller.

Miller says when you see a crossing guard, “Once they enter a cross walk and hold that stop sign up, they need to stop immediately.”

In Eau Claire, Leeann Stapleton, First News at Nine.

Miller and Klukas want to emphasize when the lower lights flash on a school bus– use caution when passing and be prepared to stop. When the lights up top start flashing and the stop sign comes out–come to a complete stop at least 20 feet away.

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