(WTVM) - It's the first sign that summer is ending: children are back in school. And it's time for drivers to be actively aware that they must slow down in school zones.
The flashing yellow lights and 20 mile per hour speed limits are not suggestions.
They are the constant, visual reminders that it's every driver's responsibility to obey the law and go slow.
In Albany, police aren't giving warnings. The first time they catch a speeder in a school zone, the driver will get a pricey ticket.
In Illinois, there is a proposal to extend school zone speed limits all day, since a study found that most accidents in school zones happen after school hours.
Those are both great ideas. And if you see a school bus loading or unloading students, have patience and stay put.
Ignorant, inattentive drivers who pass a stopped school bus face much worse than a ticket if they strike and kill a child.
It's still hot out and it can be a challenge to be patient.
Everyone has somewhere to go.
So plan ahead and leave a few minutes earlier this school year so you can afford a slight morning or afternoon delay.
Every time you slow down in a school zone, you can be proud of your ability to recognize that a few extra minutes behind the wheel are a small price to pay to keep our students safe and happy on their way to school.
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906