BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – The end of summer also means it’s time for kids to head back to school, and state police are urging drivers to slow down.
State Trooper James O’Callaghan wants drivers to get back into that rhythm of being patient and mindful that kids will be crossing the roads on their way to school.
“Back to school you’re going to see a lot of traffic come Tuesday morning not only high school, middle school and pre-school and things like that but we also have college, five days a week,” he said. “You’re going to see a lot of traffic on the roadways. Be mindful of that and leave yourself enough time to go to work or wherever you’re going.”
He warns a lot of people haven’t been used to that because during the pandemic many students would be learning either from home or be in the building a few days a week.
He tells News 4 that drivers will need to be aware that the school zones are in effect every day students have school.
“So one of the things that we’re realizing, a lot of people aren’t used to that traffic, they’re not even used to the school buses on the roadway,” Trooper O’Callaghan said. “School is back 5 days a week so make sure you stop for those buses.”
Michael Cornell, who’s the President of the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association, says for many bus drivers across Western New York it’s going to be their first week on the job.
“We’re going to have a ton of new bus drivers out there. A lot of people who are trained, they’re skilled, they’re conscientious, but they’re new at their work and like anyone else who’s new at their work, they’re going to need a little extra space, they’re going to need a little extra patience,” Cornell, who’s also the Hamburg Central Schools Superintendent said.
In the city of Buffalo, there are some big changes drivers need to keep an eye on. City crews have taken down those controversial speed cameras, and the school speed zone in the city has been raised to 20 mph
City crews will also be putting new crosswalks near schools to help make it safer for students and other pedestrians.
Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.