BOONE — With Watauga County Schools back in session, the Boone Police Department is reminding the public of pedestrian, school bus and traffic flow safety considerations.
“School safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Boone Police stated. “If you see something that doesn’t seem quite right, say something.”
The safety of children while walking to school is paramount, according to Boone Police. The department advised that utilizing existing sidewalks is the safest way to travel to and from school for pedestrians, and that proper adult supervision is necessary to ensure pedestrian safety.
“Recently, there has been an increase in unaccompanied, young children attempting to cross Jefferson Road (N.C. 194) near Hardin Park School,” Boone Police stated. “Parents wishing to have their children walk from an off-site location to school must ensure proper supervision is always present.”
Police advise that if guardians are walking with a student on Jefferson Road and need to cross the highway to reach the school, they should walk to the entrance of the school parking lot where a Boone Police officer would be directing traffic. There, the officer can assist a pedestrian in crossing the highway safely.
“Do not cross the highway at another location; the officer is unable to provide you safe passage if you do so,” according to Boone Police.
When it comes to school bus safety, the department states it is not only important in school zones, but all other areas where students are picked up and dropped off.
When a driver comes upon a stopped bus with flashing red lights, traffic from both directions must stop. It is a misdemeanor violation to pass a stopped school bus, according to Boone Police. This charge will result in a fine of up to $500 and five driver’s license points.
If a driver is observed passing a stopped school bus, witnesses are asked to note the vehicle license plate and immediately report it to the Boone Police Department or local law enforcement agency. Violations can also be reported via High Country Crime Stoppers at www.highcountrycrimestoppers.com.
For parents of students at Hardin Park, left turns from northbound traffic on Jefferson Road are not permitted into the school parking lot on school days from 7:20 to 8 a.m. and 2:15 to 3 p.m. The department stated that official signs have been erected and officers will be enforcing violations.
Drivers wishing to enter Hardin Park School are urged to use New Market Boulevard near A Cleaner World and then turn right onto Jefferson Road to enter the school.
“This will make traffic flow more efficient, eliminate congestion and increase safety,” according to Boone Police.