NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The North Platte Police Department is requesting the community's assistance with keeping school children safe.
Students from Buffalo Elementary School get escorted across the crosswalk Friday morning on their way to school. (Source: Holly Barraclough, KNOP TV)
They say they have received complaints from school officials and the general public regarding the dropping off and picking up of school children and vehicles disobeying traffic laws inside posted school zones. They said they have patrols in these areas, but cannot do it alone and need the public's help.
Officer Jeremiah Johnson, the North Platte School Resource Officer said, "We usually don't have these problems until later in the school year, the beginning of the school year people are usually pretty aware and cautious of the way they drive and then the further down the year it gets they kind of slowly forget and we need to remind people this year. We're just concerned because we are receiving multiple reports from school officials and other motorists themselves just about the courtesy driving in school zones."
Some of the things they are reminding people when navigating school zones are:
-Slow down and drive extra cautiously and always obey the speed limits. Remember, traffic fines double in school zones.
-Drop off and pick up children in your school's designated areas, not the middle of the street.
-Don't double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles.
-Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children.
-Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
-Stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk until they are completely on the other side of the street.
-Be prepared for kids to appear in unexpected places, like from between parked cars; if they're on bikes, prepare for them to turn in front of you without looking or signaling.
-If you need to use your phone, be sure you're pulled over safely.
-Don't ever block a crosswalk; it forces pedestrians to go around you and could put them in the path of moving traffic.
-Unless licensed to do so, never use handicap or emergency vehicle lanes or spaces to drop off or pick up children at school.
Anyone with information regarding this incident or any similar incidents are encouraged to call the North Platte Police Department 308-535-6789. Anonymous information can be given by calling 308-534-8400 or online at www.lincolncountycrimstoppers.com.