8/24/11 School begins Thursday; motorists advised to use caution

School begins Thursday; motorists advised to use caution
The Times-News 8/24/11     
Reprinted with permission.

 It’s time to proceed with a little caution in the rush to work in the morning, especially when driving near local schools.

 Students return to school in Alamance County on Thursday. That means thousands of children and teens will be boarding buses, walking to campuses or driving themselves to school.

 That’ll change some habits for morning commuters who may want to leave home a tad earlier starting Thursday.

 In addition, Burlington police are asking drivers to be cautious as students in the Alamance-Burlington School System start the 2011-12 academic year.

  •  Among advice and information police distributed in a release Tuesday:
  •  Drivers are asked to remember to decrease their speed in school zones during morning and afternoon hours while students are coming to school and going home.
  •  People convicted of speeding in a school zone face a fine of $50 plus court costs of $188.
  •  Expect to see increased traffic patrols in or near school zones.
  •  Be on the lookout for crossing guards who hold signs as students cross the street. Drivers are required by state law to stop.
  •  Look out for stopped school buses as children board and step off. When school buses display flashing red lights, vehicles traveling in both directions are required to stop until children are out of the road and the bus driver turns off the lights and stops displaying the sign.
  •  Drivers convicted of passing a stopped school bus will be subject to fines and penalties connected to a class one misdemeanor.

 There are no changes to traffic patterns at schools in the Alamance-Burlington system this year compared to 2010-11 year, system spokeswoman Jenny Faulkner said.