Law enforcement agencies in Wyckoff and Franklin Lakes are preparing for Back-to-School safety, and are asking for local residents to do the same.
With Ramapo Indian Hills set to start school Friday, and Wyckoff and Franklin Lakes public schools beginning Monday, both towns’ police departments announced increased safety details to handle the back-to-school traffic.
Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox issued an alert to drivers to be cautious around kids who are walking and biking to school, and a reminder to obey crossing guards.
Fox warned drivers that a first offense disobeying a school crossing guard could result in a $150 fine and a three-month license revocation. He also issued a public “thank you” to all of the school crossing guards that work for the WPD.
“These dedicated individuals are on their posts through all weather conditions insuring the safety of our children,” Fox said in a release.
In addition to increased crosswalk awareness, Fox reminded residents to obey the township’s 25 mph speed limit, in effect on all town roads except for where otherwise noted.
In Franklin Lakes, Detective Lieutenant John Bakelaar announced the beginning of Operation Safe School Zones, a back to school traffic safety campaign cops say is designed to “educate motorists, parents, and children regarding accident prevention and safe pedestrian movement through the School Zones.”
The campaign begins Monday and runs through September 20. According to the release, drivers should expect to see additional officers patrolling school zones, messages up on local sign boards, and safe driving literature handed out to local drivers.
“Operation Safe School Zones will take an aggressive enforcement approach, and focus on motorists who: fail to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks; fail to stop for crossing guards; drive while distracted through the school zone; speed in school zones; illegally pass school busses; block crosswalks; illegally stop/park to drop off children in no stopping zones; and who fail to wear, or ensure that their children wear safety belts,” the release explained.
The increased patrols, Bakelaar said in the release, is in response to the increased risk for transportation-related injuries during back-to-school time.
“The fact that there are more children on the road each morning and afternoon, as well as changed driving patterns and fewer daylight hours elevates this risk,” he said. “Traffic is always congested at the beginning of a new school year, so please plan accordingly.”