From the Desk of Sheriff Christopher M. Clinton –
Towns County Schools were back in session as of Thursday, August 3rd. Please be aware that in the mornings from approximately 7:30 AM until approximately 8:00 AM there will be increased traffic in front of the school. Traffic will again increase around 3:00 PM. The Sheriff’s Office will be providing traffic control to assist with safety.
Also, please be mindful that school buses will be picking up and dropping off children in the mornings and afternoons. It is the duty of any driver of a motor vehicle, when passing or overtaking a school bus from either direction, to come to a complete stop before reaching the school bus at any time the visual signals of the bus are on. The driver shall not resume travel until the bus has once again resumed travel and has deactivated the signals. Passing a stopped school bus is a serious traffic offense. School bus drivers are authorized and directed under Georgia law to make a report describing any vehicle committing the offense. Said report will then be turned over to the local law enforcement having authority and a citation issued.
The following information, provided by Safe Kids USA, is offered to parents of school age children. These are helpful ideas that may help keep your child safe.
School buses are generally considered one of the safest ways to travel; however, an estimated 5,000 children are injured each year in school bus related accidents. Many of these injuries occur when children are entering or exiting the bus. This is likely due to the fact that the driver has a blind spot of about 10 feet around the bus. This is sometimes difficult for younger children to understand. Half of all school-age pedestrians killed in bus-related crashes are between 5 and 7 years old (SAFE KIDS USA)
• Help keep children safe by teaching them to wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the bus driver says that it is safe to board the bus.
• Make sure children know that they should never walk behind or close to the sides of a bus.
• Teach children to never run across the road to catch a school bus.
• Pay extra attention and never speed when driving in a school zone and around school buses and pedestrians.
As any parent will tell you, our children are our greatest blessings in life. As your Sheriff, I am committed to doing all that I can to help our children remain safe. Please help by being extra alert when driving and reminding others to do so as well.