OUR VIEW: Slow down for school buses as school returns

Published 9:30 am Saturday, July 29, 2023

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LaGrange doesn’t really have traffic. It’s a talking point city leaders have bragged about for years — as they should — and that fact has to be really inviting to someone who fights the Atlanta congestion every day.  So, with that in mind, know that when we say traffic below, we mean it a relative manner.  

However, if you ever do actually want to see “packed” roadways in LaGrange, get near a school zone anywhere between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on a weekday morning after Aug. 4. 

Anyone who drives in the mornings in LaGrange has probably noticed a difference during the summer months during the hours where school drop-off takes place. Well, that traffic is about to return in the mornings. 

We’re still a few days from school starting back, but we think it’s worth reminding you that buses will be on the roadway again very soon, and you need to be prepared to stop as students get back in the swing of going to school.

Know the rules for driving around school buses. If you are behind a school bus, or traveling in the same direction, and a school bus stops, you must stop. If you are traveling in the opposite lane of traffic, and a school bus stops in a roadway with no median, you must stop regardless of direction of travel.

And if you are ever unsure, play it safe.

We also ask that parents follow school traffic safety at each individual school. 

Administrators spend all summer working on plans to keep traffic moving slowly, only for parents to find any entrance they can sneak in if they are running late. 

We’ve seen people going in the wrong entrance, using the wrong exit, or simply not paying attention when picking up and dropping off their kids.  

But the more concerning issue is when people speed through school zones or don’t stop for school buses.  

There is nothing important enough — no meeting, no special circumstance, nothing — that will ever mean you should speed through a school zone or drive by a bus stopping to let children on or off.   

We have plenty of driving issues in LaGrange. Have you really driven in our city if you haven’t been passed by a car going the wrong direction on a one-way street? 

But there should never be an issue with slowing in school zones or around school buses.  Slow down, especially in the mornings and in the afternoons.  You’d expect other drivers to do it for your children, so please do it for others.