Back to school means changes for morning commute

Drivers need to be more aware in school zones

A school bus. (MGN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The first day of school is fast approaching and with it, a big change in the morning commute.

Once school starts, you’ll need to slow down in school zones. Thousands of drivers blow past bus stop arms every year, and they’re often caught on videos posted online.

“If you’re on a 4 lane road that doesn’t have any type of median, all directions of traffic have to stop,” Bryan Dalton with Beaverton Police.

A lowered speed limit is in effect at 18 Marion County schools, Sept. 3, 2013 (Marion County Sheriff''s Office)
A lowered speed limit is in effect at 18 Marion County schools, Sept. 3, 2013 (Marion County Sheriff”s Office)

Police are asking that you pay attention so no one gets hurt. That includes slowing down to 20 miles per hour in school zones and not driving distracted.

ODOT says between 2010 and 2014, a distracted driver crash occurred in Oregon on average every 2 and a half hours. More than 11 people on average die and more than 2,800 people are injured in distracted driving crashes each year in Oregon.

“I’ve been lead investigator on a crash that killed a 10-year-old boy and I’ve had to give that death notice and it’s something I never want to do again,” Dalton said.

Oregon State Policed are using unmarked cars to battle the problem, and sharing the story of Alexxyss Therwhanger, who died in a distracted driving crash in eastern Oregon.

Drivers aren’t the only ones who have to watch out. Terrence Scott helps train bus drivers with the Beaverton School District. He says drivers need to teach the kids how to be cautious when exiting the bus.

“Tell them to be at least 10 feet from the bus and wait for the driver’s signal for them to cross the street,” Scott said.

 

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