Police: Slow down while driving, avoid distractions as school starts

As the new school year approaches, the Apache Junction Police Department encourages all motorists, parents and students to take extra care adjusting to schools being open for business.

“The police department will aggressively enforce school zone areas to ensure the safest possible passage for children returning to school,” Rob McDaniel, AJPD’s community resource coordinator, said in a release.

“During these initial weeks when children are returning to school, the AJPD will be increasing patrol around the schools,” Mr. McDaniel said.

“Officers will be focused on ensuring traffic laws are obeyed so that all students, parents and motorists remain safe,” he said.

Motorists are reminded to:

  • Plan for extra time to get to your destination.
  • Slow down and obey all traffic signs.
  • Watch for children, especially in crosswalks and medians weekday mornings and evenings as school begins and ends.
  • Approach driveways with extra caution—look left, right and left again before proceeding.
  • Eliminate distractions by not using your cell phone or multi-tasking while driving.

Parents and students are reminded to:

  • Always cross in a crosswalk and obey all traffic signals.
  • Never run into the street or between parked cars.
  • Use the buddy system, never walk or bike to school alone.
  • If riding a bike, ensure proper safety equipment (helmet, headlight, taillight) is used.
  • Remind children to stay alert, do not approach any vehicles and do not talk to strangers.
  • Teach children what to do if they are followed or approached – say no, get away and tell a trusted adult .
  • Develop a family “code” word for emergencies and teach children not to go with anyone, even people they know, without their parent’s permission.

For more information, contact Apache Junction Police Department’s community resource coordinator at 480-474-5442 or cru@ajcity.net.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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