In light of the serious crash involving a pick-up truck and two child pedestrians that occurred on Thursday, February 20, 2020, the Sevierville Police Department, in cooperation with the Sevier County School System, would like to encourage safe pedestrian and bus stop practices.
“Our city experiences heavy traffic conditions on a daily basis,” said SPD Chief Joseph Manning. “Drivers and pedestrians need to remain vigilant at all times, especially in school zones and school bus stop areas.”
Whenever available, pedestrians should always make it a practice to use sidewalks and designated crosswalks. When crossing a road, cross at a traffic light if one is nearby. And when crossing a road where a crosswalk is unavailable, pedestrians should always yield to vehicles.
The Sevier County School System offers the following school bus stop guidelines for students and parents.
• Arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
• Parents are encouraged to visit the bus stop to show their children where to wait for the bus.
• Encourage your child to take 3 giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb.
• Remind your child to pay attention.
• Wait to board the bus until the bus has come to a complete stop and the driver has opened the doors.
• Never walk behind a school bus.
• Cross the street in front of the bus after making eye contact with the driver.
• Do not bend over to pick up an item in front of the bus without advising the driver first.
Dr. Jack A. Parton, Director of Schools, stated, “It is important that our families emphasize school bus safety with their children. If parents have questions or concerns about the school bus route, bus stops, or transportation procedures, they should feel free to contact the bus garage at 865-453-3568 or Tony Ogle, Pupil Personnel Services Director, at 865-453-4671. The safely of our students is a high priority for the Sevier County School System. Working together with families, citizens, and law enforcement, we can continue to ensure that our students travel to and from school safely.”
SPD officers will be conducting extra patrols at some school bus stop locations over the next several weeks to provide direction and education to pedestrians when needed.