Slow down for kids

With students returning to school this week, motorists are reminded to keep an eye out for kids walking and riding their bikes to school.

It’s easy to get in the habit of zipping through school zones at a higher speed during the summer when the schools are in recess, and the slower speed limits don’t apply.

But summer is over for schoolchildren and the rules of the road around schools abruptly changed this week.

It’s important to remember that many school zones are marked by signs limiting vehicles to 20 miles per hour when the yellow school zone lights are flashing, typically when the students are on their way to school in the morning or heading home in the afternoon.

However, some school zones are posted 20 mph simply when children are present. Look for those signs as well.

For the safety of the children, please adhere to the school zone speed limits. If drivers need more incentive, consider this: Traffic fines double in posted school zones.

Watch for crossing guards in school zones, too. Follow their directions. It’s the law.

The same word of caution applies to sharing the road with school buses.

Parents: Teach and remind your children to be cautious, safe pedestrians and bicyclists. Motorists: Obey the school zone rules of the road and stop for school buses when they are loading and discharging students.

Let’s get the school year off to a safe start, then keep it that way.