NEWS RELEASE: Police focus on roadway safety in Howard County school zones

As students prepare to return to school next week, Howard County police are working to ensure that children, parents and teachers arrive safely. Through a continuing back-to-school program, known as H.A.S.T.E. (Helping Arriving Students Through Enforcement), officers will focus on enforcing speed, seat belt and child safety seat laws in school zones.

Traffic patrols will be in place on roadways surrounding elementary, middle and high schools for the first two weeks of the school year. Officers will be working to identify drivers who are speeding in those areas. They also will be checking for seat belt and child safety seat use to ensure that all children, teenagers and adults are properly restrained.

“We hope that increased police presence in school zones and the surrounding areas will send a message to drivers to slow down,” said Police Chief Lisa Myers. “We want everyone to arrive safely, whether they walk to school or ride in a school bus or car.”

Police also will continue to rotate speed cameras among various school zones in the county. A list of school zones scheduled for automated speed enforcement is posted in advance at www.hcpd.org.

Police are reminding drivers that they are required to stop for school buses with red lights flashing. Officers will follow school buses to watch for drivers who fail to stop. The fine for this violation is $570.

Officers will focus not only on the roads around the schools, but will be working inside the schools to address driver safety as well. Police are again conducting school-mandated traffic safety seminars for students applying for school parking permits, who must attend with their parents.

“The safety of our children will always be our priority and responsibility, and with school starting it is even more important than ever to slow down and stay alert on the road,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “I want to thank the Howard County Police Department for their dedication to keeping our school zones safe. As Howard County Executive, a neighbor and a parent preparing to send my daughters back to school, I ask every driver to be aware of pedestrians and school bus stops.”

The police department will continue to conduct traffic safety education and enforcement efforts throughout the school year.

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Scott E

Note – image via HCPD Facebook page.