For Immediate Release

July 31, 2000

--Press Release from Sheriff Butler--

Back to School

Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler is reminding Cumberland County residents to watch the roadways beginning August 14th for the area's 52,000 students who will be returning to school that day. Drivers are especially reminded to observe the posted speed limits in the school zones, as area law enforcement, to include the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Fayetteville Police Department, Hope Mills Police Department, the Spring Lake Police Department and the Sheriff's Office, will be patrolling the area looking for speed violators.

"Area schools are back in session and we all need to remember that our kids aren't paying attention to cars and trucks on the road " said Sheriff Butler. "It's a well-known fact that children under the age of 11 are unable to judge distances or speed of cars - so we need to drive with care and be good neighbors".

There are some tips that drivers can utilize to help ensure the safety of our children on the roadways:

  1. Slow down while driving through school zones. Observe the reduced speed limits as kids are notorious for darting into the street from bushes or between cars. Fines and penalties can be steep for speeders, especially if you are caught driving in excess of 15 miles over the posted limit or exceeding 55 mph - you may lose your license for a year if convicted.
  2. Use extreme caution around buses. It is illegal to pass a school bus with its red lights activated UNLESS you are driving on a multi-lane roadway with a divider lane or median and are in the opposite direction. You may never legally pass a school bus travelling in the same direction with the red lights activated. Remember that kids are watching the yellow bus - not you.
  3. Obey the crossing guards. Guards are employees of the Sheriff's Office and we ask that treat them with the same courtesy that you would a deputy in a traffic situation. Guards are present to ensure the safety of kids crossing the roads and to assist buses in busy morning and afternoon traffic. Remember, it could be your child attempting to cross the highway. It's important to pay attention.

It takes a few minutes out of our day to be good neighbors. Let's all try to keep our kids safe this school year and drive with care.

Any questions about school zones or school resource officers can be directed to a supervisor in the School Resource Office/DARE unit of the Sheriff's Office at (910) 677-5485.

For more information on the news release, you may contact Stephanie Hardy, Public Information Officer at Phone: (910) 677-5487 Pager: (910) 677-4313 Fax: (910) 677-5558.

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