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Coconino County, AZ; The Flagstaff Unified School District will be back in session beginning on Monday, August 12, 2013. As kids head back to class at schools located in incorporated and unincorporated communities throughout Coconino County, Sheriff’s Deputies will be taking to the streets to keep students as safe as possible. Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies will take a two pronged approach to student safety that consists of efforts designed to increase student and parent safety awareness as well as targeted enforcement around schools, at school bus stops and school cross walks. Deputies will closely monitor school speed zones and will watch for school bus stop arm violations."This program is designed to provide extra visibility and enforcement, especially in our unincorporated neighborhoods and around school buildings," noted Sheriff Bill Pribil. "Deputies will be out to ensure that speed limits are strictly enforced, school bus stop arms are obeyed and suspicious activity is identified."Deputies will make contact with students as they walk to and from school, at school bus stops and while on school grounds to remind them of some tips that will assist in keeping them safe from distracted motorists and suspicious individuals who may be loitering close to educational institutes. While supplies last, officers will also pass out some basic school supplies to the children they contact. Sheriff Bill Pribil and the men and women of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind parents and other motorists of some simple back to school safety tips.
Motorists: Drivers should expect busier roads as school buses hit the streets joining parents driving their kids and high school drivers commuting.
Drivers should watch for more pedestrian and bicycle traffic as kids commute to school.
Deputies will be watching for the most common driving violations such as speeding in school zones, passing stopped school buses and failing to yield to students at crosswalks.
Motorists should plan on allowing extra time to travel to and from their usual destinations and pay attention to the roadways.
Both directions of traffic must stop when school bus stop arms and flashing red lights are displayed. The only exception is multi-lane roadways where a raised or grass divider exists. Even in these cases, traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop.
Take the time to carefully review your children's route to school before the first day and stress the importance of not wandering off.
Be realistic about your child's pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
If your child is young or is walking to a new school, walk with them the first week to make sure they know the route and can do it safely.
Talk to your children about dealing with strangers.
Information Parents Should Share with their Children:
Always tell your parents where you are going and when you will return.
Always walk with a friend. Don’t take shortcuts through woods or back streets.
Never approach strange vehicles or people. Keep your distance and always give yourself room to run from strangers. Remember, strangers should always ask directions from adults not children.
Never go with a stranger to look for a missing pet or to play a game.
If a stranger follows or grabs you, yell loud and run away. If you need to, fight back and make as much noise as you can. Run to a safe place and call 9-1-1.
Student safety is the responsibility of parents, educators and law enforcement, let’s work together to make this a safe school year for all of the students in Coconino County.
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Media and Public Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089