Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Officials Hope for Safe Start as School Begins

It’s that time again! Most county students will be heading back to the classrooms this Thursday, which means area residents need to pay close attention while driving in and near school zones and around school buses.

Sallisaw Police Chief Terry Franklin urges residents to be a little more cautious on the roadways this week.

“These kids are all excited about going back to school. Their main objective is to get in there and visit with their friends and have a good time,” Franklin said. “They’re not really paying attention to the traffic or anything else. We’re going to be out there enforcing speed laws and school zones. Take due regard and caution, and pay a little more attention and slow down.”

Sequoyah County Chief Deputy Charles House also reminds residents to be aware of buses loading and unloading students in rural areas of the county.

“When the (bus) lights are out, stop; don’t try to go around them,” House said. “In school zones, we’ll have our speed trailer set up at several different locations. Slow down. We know you’re in a hurry. It’s a change. Respect the bus drivers.”

House also warns drivers about the dangers of texting and driving.

“I talked with several of the bus drivers in the county, and they wanted to make sure people were aware of texting and driving, and how dangerous it is,” House added.

New Sallisaw School Superintendent Jeremy Jackson said he is looking forward to a safe and successful year.

“We’re excited to have all the students back on Thursday morning. They’ve had the summer off, and are ready to get back and get in gear,” Jackson said. “We want them to come back ready to work and learn, and make Sallisaw Public Schools the best in the state of Oklahoma.

“In working with the police department and sheriff’s department, there’s not a new pick-up and drop-off, but we do have students who this will be their first time to go through that process,” he added. “Please be patient in those lines. Please be cognizant and very aware. We want all of the kids to get home in the same safe way we received them that day.”

Law enforcement officials remind drivers to stay alert; children are often unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks. 

Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

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