Be aware of kids as school begins

By Chief Nick Lewis

Nick Lewis

Believe it or not our summer is over and school begins next Monday. Drivers need to pay attention and watch for our children heading off to school and returning home each day.

The Lovell Police Department is determined to keep our children safe and part of doing so is to strictly enforce the traffic code in our school zones. Drivers need to be aware that as of July 1, 2011, the Wyoming Supreme Court made some changes in the uniform bail and forfeiture schedule, which the Lovell Municipal Court adopted many years ago. There have been several changes but one of the most dramatic changes is the bonds for speeding violations in school zones. Wyoming has placed a much greater bond in the school zones in an effort to convince drivers to slow down and drive prudently.

Drivers should be aware that on Shoshone Avenue in front of the elementary school is a NO U-TURN ZONE. It is going to be strictly enforced for safety concerns so please do not u-turn in this area. Drivers need to be aware that if you turn and pull into a driveway and then head the opposite direction it’s considered a u-turn. Many parents drive north on Shoshone make a left turn and park in front of the elementary. This is a u-turn and is in violation of the no u-turn zone. Kansas Ave. located to the west of the elementary school also has a no u-turn zone for the safety of our children.

Another traffic concern in our community is parking in the yellow no parking areas. These areas are painted yellow and prohibit parking for many different reasons. In our school zones these areas provide a greater area of view for the children in the cross walks. Some have been widened to give the children and drivers a clear view of each other so we can avoid tragedy. Parking in these yellow no parking areas limits the view of our children and other drivers, which could result in a child being struck and injured. These areas will be strictly enforced and drivers should be on notice not to park in these areas.

Of course, the crosswalks will be in use and once the child or pedestrian enters the crosswalk they have the right of way. Drivers should stop at a distance that gives the child and other drivers a clear view of the crosswalk and the children or other pedestrians using the crosswalk.

The school zone on Shoshone Ave. and Kansas Ave. are 20 mph, 24 hours a day.

I would encourage parents to use the drop-off area on Shoshone Ave. and the Shoshone Ave. parking lot so you can drop your child off “curb side.” This is by far the best way to ensure your child’s safety while being dropped off and picked up each day.

The circular drive on Shoshone Ave. in front of our elementary school building is for school personnel and authorized vehicle use only. The circular drive is not to be used by non-authorized vehicles and is marked as such. If this circular drive is used by all of us it would create a traffic hazard for our children. Remember that the circular drive is to be used by buses, school personnel and authorized vehicles only.

Remember also drivers to have your children in a proper restraining device. Children that are not secured in the vehicle can be severely injured should you become involved in an accident or have to apply your brakes suddenly.

Watch for our children and let’s have a safe school year.