School bells, yes; sirens, no

The new school year began Monday in Fostoria; at most other schools in our area, classes resume today and Thursday.

So, yes, it’s time for school officials and law enforcement officers to stress the need for greater care when driving during the morning and afternoon commutes, especially near school buildings.

With the excitement of the new school year, children might have their minds on seeing classmates and remembering assignments instead of crossing streets safely. That means drivers must be even more alert.

And another obstacle may have been added to the morning and afternoon drive, something it should be impossible not to notice: big, yellow school buses with flashing red lights.

Yet somehow, drivers manage to miss – or maybe ignore – the flashing lights and extended stop sign. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that from 2010 through 2012, 4,176 motorists were cited for failing to stop for a school bus when it was loading or unloading children.

We suspect it’s not just caution, but patience some motorists need to exercise when encountering a stopped school bus. Drivers also should slow down in school zones and residential areas where kids may be walking to or from school. This is especially true from about 6 a.m., to 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

When school bells sound again, it’s a reminder for everyone to be more careful.