Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – Officers are prepared for Wilson County School students to head back to school next week, and the department’s traffic safety focus in school zones will begin. Every school year, extra attention is provided by officers in school zones and bus stop locations to ensure everyone is operating their vehicle safely. This attention will continue throughout the school year. In addition to the reduced speed limits in school zones, officers will focus on handheld phone use, school bus stop-arm, seat belt, and child passenger safety laws.
“The Mt. Juliet community will experience a different dynamic we are not familiar with. Mt. Juliet Middle School will support students from the tornado-destroyed Stoner Creek Elementary and West Wilson Middle School. Also, Green Hill High School is brand new, and that school will be accommodating additional students until both destroyed schools are rebuilt,” stated Chief James Hambrick. “Members of the Command Staff will be monitoring the different dynamics, and we are prepared to adjust resources and plans to accommodate the change. I ask that our community members familiarize themselves with the change, so we can ensure our new school zones are safe.”
Today, Chief James Hambrick, along with fellow staff members, reviewed and toured Green Hill High School with Principal Kevin Dawson and Wilson County School’s Safety Director Steve Spencer. The new school zone for the new high school was also reviewed. In addition to the department’s strong relationship with school leadership, the department continues to maintain an open line of communication with crossing guards so they can easily report unsafe drivers or any other safety issues within the city limits.
Along with unmarked traffic officers being deployed to school zones, digital radar speed signs will be placed to raise awareness. Mt. Juliet Police have four digital speed signs that display the speed of cars and visually warn drivers if they drive above the speed limit.
To ensure our school zones are safe this school year, Mt. Juliet Police offer the following suggestions:
- Parents are encouraged to visit their child’s school website to become familiar with the traffic plans for drop-off and pick-up at each school. Wilson County School’s website is http://www.wcschools.com/.
- Give yourself plenty of time in the morning! As traffic volumes and congestion on the roadways increase, so does the length of time it takes to travel to your destination. Giving yourself more time by leaving earlier to reduces stress, increases your awareness, and improve your driving.
- Obey the posted speed limit signs and directional signs, including marked curbs. Signs and curb markings assist in the traffic flow into and out of the schools and assist in the safety of the students who walk and bike to school. One misplaced car can disrupt the traffic flow and the safety of our students.
- Be patient! Impatience leads to aggressive driving, rude or unwarranted behavior, pedestrian and bicycle collisions, and it creates traffic gridlock. Remember, everyone has the same goal: to get our children safely to and from school. Also remember, the habits you exhibit in your driving and demeanor are typically passed on to your children when they start driving.
- If you drive your children to school, have them ready to leave the car, with all of their belongings, when you come to a stop at the school. Backups and delays are caused when children have to get their backpacks and other items from the trunk or back seat of a car. Explore other alternatives such as carpool, ride-sharing, walking, or biking to school.
- Watch and obey the school crossing guards. Crossing guards are provided to assist with school traffic and the safe crossing of your students across the surrounding streets near each elementary school. Be on the lookout, be prepared to stop, and be ready to follow their directions so our children can safely get to and from school.
Stopping for a School Bus Law: