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ECSO urges safety, caution with start of school year
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The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office urges motorists to be extra vigilant for pedestrians as county schools resume classes Wednesday.

Citizens will see deputies in school zones and near bus stops helping ensure pedestrian safety as well as conducting traffic enforcement.

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office also reminds drivers that, when bus lights and stop signs are activated, vehicles must stop in both directions, unless the road is divided by a median.

Following are some safety tips from the ECSO:

• Always cross on marked crosswalks. Vehicles anticipate people in these locations.
• Obey any pedestrian signals and look left-right-left; make sure the road is clear.
• If a vehicle approaches, make eye contact with the driver, make sure he/she sees you before you go.
• Look before walking past stopped vehicles; do not assume all cars see you in their lanes of travel. Be sure all lanes are clear first.
• Remember that bicyclists are not considered pedestrians unless they are walking their bikes. Otherwise, they are considered vehicles.

• Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections.
• Be prepared to stop at all marked crosswalks. Reduce speed in areas with crosswalks.
• Be alert for bicyclists.
• Come to a complete stop if pedestrians are crossing or preparing to cross.
• Wait until pedestrians have crossed at least one lane past the lane you are in before resuming travel.
• Never pass another vehicle that has stopped or is slowing down at a crosswalk.

School bus safety
• When you are waiting for the school bus, you should wait at the bus top, and stand at least five big steps from the curb.
• When you get off the bus, look to the rear of the bus before you step off the bottom step. Take five giant steps straight out the bus door, and out of the danger zone.
• Make sure you have eye contact with the driver, and wait for the driver to signal you before you cross in front of the bus.
• Never go back for anything you have left on the bus.
• Never bend down near or under the bus.

School starts
Open houses
• Elementary schools — Aug. 4, 4-7 p.m.
• Middle and high schools — Aug. 5, 4-7 p.m.

First day of classes for the Effingham County School System is Aug. 6.