CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Lowcountry students head back to school on Monday and Wednesday, which means more cars, buses and law enforcement officials on the roads. While these changes are typical, some changes are a little less obvious.
Lance Cpl Matt Southern with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said everyone needs to be aware on their morning and afternoon commutes.
“Since school has been out, all those school zones have been empty but come Monday and Wednesday, most of those school districts will have vehicles in and around those schools, mixed with buses and pedestrians,” Southern said.
He also suggests drivers look at the speed limit signs over the next few days when driving through school zones.
“To get familiar with what that speed is, because come Monday or Wednesday, when the lights are flashing, you’ve got to slow down," he added.
While you may see more officers, deputies and troopers in the school zones, there are other places they will be located. For example, Berkeley County Sheriff’s deputies will be monitoring the new Daniel Island roundabout which was completed over the summer.
Officials with the Town of Mount Pleasant said they will be changing the timing to several of the traffic signals near schools and neighborhoods. Operations Division Chief, James Aton, said the main one that comes to mind is at the intersection of Highway 17 and Hamlin Road/Brickyard Parkway.
“The Hamlin Road approach sees considerably higher volumes when school is in session as compared to when it is out, and Highway 17 does suffer as a result,” said Aton. “The important thing to note with this signal is that vehicles using Hamlin Road should expect to wait through several cycles during the peak period.”
It’s also important for drivers and kids to freshen up on bus safety.
Southern said drivers always get a little confused on when they are required and when they are not required to stop when a bus picks up or drops off kids.
“It doesn’t have to do with the median, it has to do with the number of lanes," added Southern. “So if there’s more than one lane going in the same direction and more than one lane going in the opposite direction, that’s where that law comes into play.”
"You can also show your kids the following picture so they know how to be safe when getting on and off the bus. Southern said, “There are danger zones around the school bus... these are areas where it can be hard for the bus driver to see a child if they’re up close to the bus.”