DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Many students at Dayton Public Schools (DPS) are returning to full-time, in-person learning on March 1 — which marks almost a full year since they’ve been in a school building five days a week.
Due to the amount of time students spent away, DPS and the Dayton Police Department (DPD) have teamed up to discuss school bus safety and law, pedestrian safety and school zone speed limits.
“There will be more buses, cars and pedestrians throughout Dayton during morning and afternoon commutes,” said DPS Chief of Safety and Security, Truancy and Hearings Richard E. Wright II.
Wright says along with the additional traffic, more school zone speed changes will be happening twice a day as students arrive and leave school buildings. Paying extra attention behind the wheel is another key note Wright wants drivers to acknowledge.
“It’s also imperative that motorists follow all school zone and bus laws…and don’t drive while distracted,” said Wright.
Along with Wright, Lt. James Mullins of DPD encourages drivers to be patient and practice caution when following a school bus.
“When they have those red flashers on, that means to stop. That doesn’t mean go around them, on a two lane road you need to stop completely for that bus. Let the children get on, get off safely. Once those lights are off it’s safe to go around,” said Mullins.
Along with school zone and bus safety, students contracting COVID-19 in enclosures like a bus is also a concern.
“Parents need to make sure their [children] understand the precautions that need to be take,” said Dan Suffoletto, public information supervisor for Public Health — Dayton and Montgomery County.
Suffoletto says things like a tightly sealed mask, opening bus windows, one person per seat and using hand sanitizer are key in virus prevention.