Dalton's public schools will hold their first classes for the 2014-15 school year on Thursday. That means motorists need to plan ahead now to build a few extra minutes to their morning and afternoon commutes as school zone speed limits are going back into effect. Not only will speed limits near school zones be lowered, but motorists will also need to be on the lookout for extra pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Elementary school speed zones will be in effect from 7:45-8:25 a.m. and 3:15-3:50 p.m. Dalton Middle School's speed zone will be in effect from 7:15-7:45 a.m. and 2:35-3:10 p.m. High school speed zones will be in effect from 7:50-8:15 a.m. and 3:40-4:05 p.m.
Drivers should be aware a reduction in speed is mandatory in any school zone that is marked with an appropriate sign and flashing signal. Violators are subject to doubled fines, regardless of the regular posted speed limit, if observed speeding during enforcement times.
Drivers should also keep an eye out for school buses. It is illegal to approach or pass a school bus when it has its red flashing lights turned on. When the red lights are flashing and the stop sign is deployed, all traffic approaching in both directions must come to a complete stop unless the roadway has a physical separation between the directions of travel. Officers from the DPD patrol division will be on the lookout for violators.
In order to keep traffic flowing smoothly, parents dropping off and picking up their children are reminded not to block certain areas while waiting in the car pool line. These areas include roadway intersections and residential driveways. Blocking these areas only add to the congestion and delay everyone’s commute time. Besides being frustrating to other drivers, interfering with the free flow of traffic could result in a citation to those in violation.
Officials said, "Please help us this school year by joining with the Dalton Police Department to keep our children out of harm’s way. Watch your speed, look for school zones, and stop for busses loading and unloading children. Also, remember “seatbelts save lives.” Buckle up!"
The following areas have enforceable school zones during posted times:
· Dalton High School – Waugh Street from the east entrance of Manly Street to the west entrance of Manly Street. The posted school zone speed limit is 30 mph when the warning lights are flashing.
· Dalton Middle School – Cross Plans Blvd. from the By-Pass to Dalton Middle School. The posted speed limit is 25 mph at all times.
· Roan Street Elementary School – Martin Luther King Blvd. from just west of Grimes Street to Grade Street. The posted school zone speed limit is 30 mph when the warning lights are flashing.
· Blue Ridge Elementary School / Morris Street High School – Morris Street from Harris Street to just east of Fourth Ave., the posted school zone speed limit is 25 mph when the warning lights are flashing. Also on Fredrick St. from McAfee St to Morris St., the posted school zone speed limit is 20 mph when children are present in the area.
· City Park Elementary School – Thornton Ave. from School Street to Crawford Street. The posted school zone speed limit is 25 mph when the warning lights are flashing.
· Brookwood Elementary School – Central Ave. from Frances Street to Brown Street. The posted school zone speed limit is 25 mph at all times.
· Westwood Elementary School – Trammel Street from Tyler Street to Richards Street, which is a one-way street heading north and on Jones Street from Richards Street to Tyler Street, which is a one-way street heading south.