With all the road construction going on in Abilene and school beginning this week, allow yourself extra time and be extra careful. Two schools have construction happening nearby - Taylor Elementary in northeast Abilene and Wylie East in southeast Abilene.

I spoke with one of Abilene's finest at the Abilene Police Department this week. He reminded me that during the return to school we must all be extra careful, not just in school zones but in neighborhoods too, as some kids are walking to and from their campus.

If you are approaching a school bus and its lights are flashing, you have to STOP. The only exception is if you’re on a divided highway with a median and you're on the opposite side of the median from the bus.

The most frequent violation taking place around school zones is speeding. If you speed, expect to be ticketed and that goes for anywhere in Texas. School zone speeding is a major no-no. The best advice is "GO SLOW!"

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Here's what we must remember when driving around school zones:

  1. Be extra careful driving in school zones and neighborhoods near schools.
  2. Slow down, as speeding is the biggest offense around school zones.
  3. Know where the crosswalks are and pay attention to the crossing guards.
  4. Do not pass or go around a bus when its lights are flashing, period.
  5. Bicyclists must abide by regular traffic laws.
  6. Note the times of the school zone signs.

Sergeant Tommy Bryant with the APD traffic division offered this advice, "Please be patient and understand that there’s more traffic, there are more people, and it’s going to be a little chaotic with everyone dropping kids off and picking them up after school. I would just remind everyone to be patient, plan ahead, and be ready to wait in line dropping off or picking up kids. And just slow down."

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