Monday, August 11, 2014

ABCs and 123s

Parents and police officers everywhere are jumping with joy.

Why? Because the first day for several local schools is right around the corner!

Yes - police officers are happy about this.

When young minds stay busy, they aren’t as likely to be getting into trouble. So, we look forward to school starting as much as any parent.

School starting usually means new schedules and routines and you might be one of many to find the adjustments cause you to run a little late or do things you might not normally do that are unsafe.

Making an unsafe driving decision around our schools can be bad.  Especially, when you consider there’s often a lot of foot traffic and sometimes those feet are very little. Having all that in mind, the Overland Park Police Department will be giving extra attention to the roadways around our schools.

We’re not looking to add any stress to anyone’s life. Quite the contrary, we would like you to have a stress free start to the school year. A traffic accident would only mean more stress.

We will be taking a proactive approach to remind drivers to be safe.  We’ll be out looking for a variety of violations, but to be fair, we’re telling you that we’re going to be there.  And to give you even more insight there are a few things we see parents and caregivers do regularly at the start of the year that could earn them an unwanted traffic ticket.

We regularly see parking, turning and speeding violations. We’ve even seen a number of drivers leave school properties with children not properly secured with a seatbelt.

One of the most frequent violations is the parking ordinance and occurs at the pickup times of many elementary and middle schools. What we hope parents remember is that the signs that are posted to keep drivers from stopping, standing or parking in these areas (all of which are considered parking) are posted so that drivers do not create a vision obstruction and put young lives in danger.

If you stop or park your car where it is prohibited, you could be make it impossible for a child to see oncoming traffic before entering the street or for an oncoming driver to see the child.  We’re fairly confident most drivers just don’t realize the danger they are creating and we’ll do what we can to try to eliminate the risk as much as possible.

So remember, learn something new every day.  If you want, that something could be an Overland Park traffic ordinance, which you are always welcome to do on your own. Or, if you so choose, one of our officers can always go over the law with you.

Honestly, we’d rather you just drive safe from the start.

School starts for Shawnee Mission School District on August 12th, the Olathe School District on August 13th, the Blue Valley School District and Holy Spirit on August 14th, and Ascension and John Paul Schools on August 18th.  Happy School Year!