DATE: Friday, August 04, 2017
SUBJECT: Sheriff’s Office Preparing for Students Returning to School
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding

In the coming days Vanderburgh County students will be returning to school for the 2017-2018 school year. The Sheriff’s Office will be stepping up our presence and enforcement around county schools and bus routes to help make sure this school year gets off to a safe start.

The beginning of school will result in a large number of buses on the road, children getting on and off those buses, new bus stop locations, new bus routes, congestion in and around the schools, new student drivers and many other factors to be aware of as our kids return to the classroom. The Sheriff’s Office will be increasing patrols and watching for unsafe driving behavior, monitoring bus routes for safety issues and enforcing school bus stop arm violations.

Sheriff Dave Wedding explained, “The added presence of our deputies will function as a deterrent and a reminder to slow down and pay attention. Having deputies stationed near our schools puts us in a position to respond immediately to any situations that may arise.”

At some locations, sheriff’s deputies will be assisting school personnel with traffic direction in and out of the school parking lots and drop off zones. The Vanderburgh County Highway Department will place large school zone warning signs near all of these schools to help warn drivers.

Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation schools will begin their first day on Wednesday, August 09, 2017. Corpus Christi School begins on Tuesday, August 08, 2017. St. Joseph School begins their first day on Wednesdy, August 09, 2017. Resurrection Catholic School begins on Thursday, August 10, 2017.

Tips for back to school safety:

  • If bus service is available, please utilize it.
  • Please take pictures of your new student before you get to the school. Do not park in the drop-off zones of any of the schools to take your child into class.
  • Utilize the proper restraint systems in your vehicle.
  • Keep your speed to a minimum and pay extra attention in and around school zones and near school bus loading areas.
  • When a school bus stops and a red stop arm or flashing red lights appear, children are boarding or exiting the bus. Be on the lookout for children crossing the street even after the bus has moved on.
  • Please, no cell phone use in the school zones while operating a vehicle and no texting at any time while operating a vehicle.
  • Encourage children getting on and off school buses to be very mindful of surrounding traffic, because the traffic may not be watching for them.
  • Give yourself plenty of time. Do not let the frustration of running late compromise the good driving decisions you make.
  • Please call 911 to report dangerous driving situations.

Next week’s Back to School traffic enforcement comes in advance of a statewide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” blitz, which is scheduled to run from August 11 through September 04, 2017. The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Traffic Safety Partnership will hold a news conference next week to provide the details.

Pictured above: A November 03, 2016 crash involving a school bus on Old State Road. 2016-NR-085