Keeping students safe in school zones this academic year will be the goal of Rutherford County Traffic Safety Task Force officers, who will launch an awareness event beginning Friday.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Jon Officer said troopers, city police officers and sheriff’s deputies will participate in the enforcement and awareness campaign through Friday, Aug. 13.
“We want to remind drivers and parents driving students to school to obey speed limits, don’t talk on phones in school zones and buckle up,” Officer said. “We are trying to have THP troopers out in school zones in the county and cities to assist the police departments and the Sheriff’s Office with school zone enforcement.”
Murfreesboro Police Sgt. Greg Walker, who is coordinating the task force event, said Murfreesboro and Smyrna Police, the Sheriff’s Office and THP will patrol in school zones for both Murfreesboro and Rutherford County schools Friday when school starts and next week.
“We are trying to raise awareness of safety in the school zones by looking for drivers that speed, fail to buckle up themselves or their children, not securing their children in safety seats and driving while on the phone,” Walker said.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Rodgers reminded drivers the Tennessee Hands-Free law prohibits drivers using cell phones in school zones.
“Deputies will be in school zones monitoring for traffic safety and to make sure school bus drivers can get in and out of school property,” Rodgers said. “We are also reminding drivers to be patient.”
Also, drivers are asked to obey the school crossing officers who will direct traffic at the school zones.
Murfreesboro Police Capt. Cary Gensemer said drivers should plan for extra time for commutes because the new school year comes with increased traffic congestion.
“Motorists need to be aware that school buses will be running and need to be on the lookout for their stop sign,” Gensemer said.
Smyrna Police Sgt. Andy Miller asked parents to make sure their children are secured in child safety seats. Police will monitor pedestrian and vehicle school traffic beginning about 7 a.m. and about 2 p.m.
“It takes everyone working together to raise a child and keep our community safe, and we really appreciate everyone's commitment,” Miller said.