More than 12,000 Dayton Public Schools students on Wednesday will return to the classroom.
“Which means more buses, cars, pedestrians will be on the roadway each day,” said Richard Wright II, the district’s chief of safety, security and hearings during a Monday afternoon media briefing in the Dunbar High School parking lot held in conjunction with the Dayton Police Department.
More DPS students will be taking the bus this year than previous years, and Dayton police will be monitoring school zones and enhancing traffic enforcement to protect those students trying to get to class.
“As this is the beginning of a new school year there will be many students who are new to buildings and new to different surroundings,” Wright said.
Wednesday will be the busiest back-to-school day in the fall as more than a dozen schools and districts hold their first day of classes.
As students return to the district’s 29 school buildings, Wright and Dayton police Sgt. Gordon Cairns, traffic services unit supervisor, urged motorists to allow more travel time in the mornings and afternoon. They also said to not try to pass a school bus but to stop when it is stopped with its red lights flashing.
Wright said driving cautiously around school zones and bus stops is important not just in the beginning of the school year, but because mornings will become darker as the school year goes on, motorists need to pay attention throughout the academic year.
Cairns said officers will be watching school zones and bus stops to protect children.
“We will be out there giving a higher level of enforcement in the school zone, reminding the motorists they need to watch their speed limits, be aware of the buses who are stopped with their signs, and just overall safety around the schools and around the children,” he said.
Students can become distracted when waiting for and boarding school buses and not looking out for cars, so it’s imperative that drivers be aware of their surroundings at all times.
“We also ask for people to pay attention to the buses,” Cairns said. “If you think a bus is picking up a child or you’re not 100% certain if you should stop or can go, err on the side of safety,” he said.
About the Author