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Old 08-20-2008, 04:51 PM
Howard Hartman Howard Hartman is offline
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Default Important Back-to-School Safety Reminders

DEPARTMENT OF POLICE
MEDIA SERVICES DIVISION
2350 RESEARCH BOULEVARD ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 20850-3294   240-773-5030
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2008
FOR MORE INFORMATION:                        
Media Services Division, 240-773-5030


Important Back-to-School Safety Reminders

Montgomery County Public Schools will be back in session on Tuesday, August 26, and Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, along with the officers of the Montgomery County Police Department, want to encourage all community members to continue to make the safety of our children a top priority.

All drivers should be on the lookout for young pedestrians who will be walking to and from school. Parents should set aside time to remind their children of the following: cross streets at marked crosswalks, look both ways before crossing the street, and don’t cross the street between parked cars. If there isn’t a sidewalk and it is necessary to walk in the street, walk on the left side facing traffic. Children and adults should follow the directions of our Crossing Guards who are there to assist and protect students. Drivers should know that county law enforcement agencies are using automated speed enforcement cameras in school zones where there has been documented speeding. There will be particular focus on all school zones for enforcement by both cameras and officers during the first 30 days after school starts.

Some students will be riding bicycles to school. Please remind them that they must follow all traffic rules and signs, i.e. stop signs and traffic lights. By law, all children under the age of 18 must wear a bicycle helmet when riding or being carried on a bicycle, while riding on a public street, right-of-way, or on a bicycle path. Bicycle helmets should be worn to cover the forehead, not tipped to the back of the head.

Many students will be riding buses to school and all drivers are strongly reminded that they are required to stop at least 20 feet from school busses that are stopped with flashing red lights. It is also recommended that adults accompany young children to bus stops, and remain with them until the bus arrives.

The start of the school season is also a good time to remind children of basic safe practices. Children should not speak to strangers, and once they are home, they should not open or answer a knock at the door if an adult is not present without first determining who is there. Every child should have a list of parents’, neighbors’, and/or relatives’ phone numbers that they can call for assistance. Children should also know when it is appropriate to call 9-1-1.

As we make school safety a top priority, County police remind motorists that the violations of these Maryland Transportation Articles may result in the following penalties: speeding in a school zone incurs a fine of up to $1,000.00 and 5 points on your license, and passing a school bus with flashing red lights incurs a fine of $570.00 and 3 points against your license.

Parents who bring their children to school or pick them up after school, are reminded to obey the “No Parking, No Stopping, and No Standing” signs in a School Zone. A violation of this sign incurs a fine of $50.00.
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