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HomeNewsTennessee Highway Patrol Encourages School Zone Safety

Tennessee Highway Patrol Encourages School Zone Safety

Tennessee Highway Patrol - THPNashville, TN – The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is urging motorists to utilize extra caution in school zones, around school buses and in neighborhoods during the 2015-16 school year.

State Troopers will work to raise school safety awareness, and target traffic violators, specifically those who speed in school zones, drive distracted and disregard stopped school buses that are loading and unloading children.

School Kids getting on a bus.
School Kids getting on a bus.

“We urge motorists to obey the school zone laws that protect our young pedestrians,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “Students are excited to return to school to meet their teachers and spend time with their friends. State troopers and local law enforcement need everyone’s help in providing each child with safe passage to school and back home again. Please make safety a priority around school zones and buses in Tennessee.”

State Troopers issued 525 speeding citations in school zones during the 2014-2015 school year. That’s a decrease from the 538 citations issued in 2012-2013 school year.

Between 2012 and 2014, there has been a 2.4 percent increase in the number of crashes occurring in school zones between the hours of 6:00am and 9:00am and the hours of 2:00pm to 5:00pm in Tennessee. There was also a 4.2 percent increase in the number of school bus-involved crashes between those same hours.

In Tennessee, there have been 55 pedestrians killed on state roadways in 2015. That’s only one less than at this time in 2014.

“Everyone shares a responsibility to make sure pedestrians and bicyclists are safe,” Trott said. “We are urging all motorists to drive cautiously, limit your cell phone use in school zones and do not pass other vehicles in school zones or at crosswalks.”

Trott also explained the importance for teen drivers to pay close attention to the school zone laws. According the National Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the US.

The THP Pupil Transportation unit also oversees all school bus inspections in the state and determines whether public school bus systems are in compliance with the safety requirements by state law.

Each day, 26 million children in the United States ride school buses, including 650,000 in Tennessee, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The speed limit in school zones is 15 miles per hour and the fine for speeding in a school zone is up to $500.00. It is also against the law to pass a school bus when it is stopped and loading or unloading passengers. The driver can be fined no less than $250.00 and up to $1,000.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.


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