Friday hits the brakes on summer as students roll into the first day of the 2017-2018 school year at Lawton Public Schools.
Drivers should be aware that buses will be on the road before and after school hours, and speed limits within school zones will be in effect to protect pedestrians.
Lawton Police Sgt. Timothy Jenkins, public information officer, advises drivers to leave earlier for work in the morning to accommodate the busy traffic and to slow down when driving through school zones. The average speed limit in a school zone, Jenkins said, is 20 mph.
"Always be aware of kids first and foremost in school zones," Jenkins said. "They have the right-of-way. ... Don't be on your phone. Don't be looking at other things around you. The most important thing at the time are the kids crossing the street and the buses that are dropping students off."
Drivers who exceed the speed limit may receive a citation as the minimal penalty, Jenkins said, but depending on the factors of an incidentsuch as an injured child who was hitdrivers could face relatively more severe penalties.
Jenkins urges drivers to "obey the speed limit" even if the lights for the speed limit sign in a school zone are not flashing, because students may be arriving to school late and they may forget to look both ways before crossing the road.