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The Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office gives a reminder on traffic safety as kids return to school | #schoolsaftey


LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) – Commander Gene Pittman with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office joined us this morning to remind residents about traffic safety as we begin the school year.

Traffic is going to be heavy this morning in Calcasieu Parish as kids start the school day.

What should parents and motorists be aware of?

This is something we remind people of every year as school gets started again, you need to pay attention. School just happens to be starting on a Friday for us here in Calcasieu so today is a bit of a test run. You don’t have a whole week of it to get started.

Start leaving a little earlier to make sure you can get where you need to go on time. Expect long lines and some backed-up traffic as parents drop off their kids and buses pick up children.

And be careful in school zones. Watch out for the school crossing guards and slow down in those areas. Be extra vigilant especially now at the beginning of the school year when people are getting back into the swing of things.

We’ll have marked units out at schools with their lights on to help as a visual aid to remind motorists that this is an area you need to slow down in.

The Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies will have extra patrols in those areas?

We’re pretty forgiving in the first few days of the school year in school zones. We’ll give them a warning, and remind them to slow down to give them a chance to get back into the habit of minding those times and areas.

And it’s important for us to remember that some of these children might not be used to walking in these areas.

Absolutely. Just slow down and be mindful. Even planning ahead to leave just a few minutes earlier can make all the difference to make sure you’re not late for wherever you need to be.

And we have crossing guards there to help those children, make sure they’re safe and know how to cross those streets.

Also, be careful if you’re on a road with a bus that’s stopping or picking up children.

Yes, and it’s something we all have to remind ourselves of sometimes. Even me.

The rules are to stop 30 feet away from a bus that is stopped with its hazard lights on. You must give way to that bus regardless of if you are behind or in an oncoming lane. Once the bus turns off its lights you can proceed.

The big question is always, what do I do if I’m on a four or five-lane highway?

If you’re on a five-lane highway that has a turning lane you are free to move in the opposite direction of the bus. Obviously, for people behind, don’t go around the bus.

For a four-lane highway, you still have to stop.

What do people need to know about the cellphone laws when driving?

You can not text or use any apps with a cell phone while driving. And that’s a $500 fine the first time you’re caught doing that. And subsequent offenses are $1,000.

And that’s how we have most of our accidents around here in general.

So, especially when you’re in a school zone make sure you’re not messing with your phone and have your full attention on the road.



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