The Curry Coastal Pilot

The school year for Curry County's children begins Monday and the Pilot urges motorists to take extra precaution when driving through their communities, especially near schools.

Students walking, riding their bikes and skateboards to and from school face potential hazards in congested areas and crosswalks and on narrow roads.

Incidently, the Brookings Police Department will be stepping up enforcement of traffic at Kalmiopsis Elementary School, Azalea Middle School and Brookings-Harbor High School. The speed limit around all three campuses is 20 mph at all times andndash; 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.

Motorists who are unsure of what the speed limit is and at what times near a particular school should just drive slowly all the time. The few extra seconds that doing so adds to your trip is well worth the added safety it provides our children.

The Pilot offers these additional guidelines to help protect our children:

andbull;Slow down in or near school and residential areas.

andbull;Drive with your headlights on andndash; even during the day andndash; so children and other drivers can see you.

andbull;Look for clues such as school safety patrols, bicycles and playgrounds where children might be.

andbull;Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children may dart into the road.

andbull; Practice extra caution in bad weather.

andbull; By law, traffic must stop whenever the bus has its stop arm out to load or unload students.

Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) will once again be guarding school crosswalks. Failure to obey a traffic patrol member is a class A traffic violation.

Please follow the rules. It is not simply about avoiding a ticket andndash; it's about keeping our children safe.