Area students will return to school on Tuesday, August 14, causing pedestrian and vehicle traffic to increase significantly. The flashing yellow school zone lights, indicating the presence of school children around schools, will be activated soon to remind drivers that the school year is about to begin.
“The overall goal is to get our children to and from school safely. Please help us keep our children safe by following the school zone traffic laws,” said Sevierville Police Chief Joseph Manning.
Please take note of the following recommendations from the Sevierville Police Department:
• It is illegal for a driver to use a hand-held cell phone in a school zone when the flashing yellow lights are in operation and the vehicle is in motion. This includes ANY hand-held cell use, such as talking, texting, etc. Drivers 18-years old and older may use a cell phone if it is being used in a hands-free mode, however drivers under 18-years old CANNOT use a cell phone in any manner, including in hands-free mode, while driving through an active school zone.
• Additional officers will be on duty to ensure the safety of children and drivers in and around school zones for the next several weeks. Traffic laws and school zone speed limits will be strictly enforced.
• Arrive at least one-half hour early for the first two weeks.
• Allow extra driving time during the morning and afternoon hours. Traffic will be extremely heavy around the school areas. Please exercise patience and remember there will be new students and parents who are unfamiliar with the process of dropping children off and picking them up.
• Always stop for persons using crosswalks.
• Dropping children off in the roadway is very unsafe and also illegal.
• There will be many young children walking in and near school zones. Watch for children running between cars and into the street unexpectedly.
• Always stop for stopped school buses unless the road is divided by a median.
• Children must ride in the back seat until they are nine years old, and it is recommended that they ride in the back seat until thirteen years old.
• Children must ride in a booster seat until they are nine years old or until they are 4’9” tall.
• Area traffic will be heavier than normal, so even drivers who will not be near a school zone should allow extra driving time during the morning and afternoon hours.