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Our Opinion: Let’s welcome students back to school safely

With students returning to classes and other school activities en masse Tuesday, Sept. 6, it’s also time to remind motorists to be wary on area roadways. There will be a lot more kids, more cars and more buses traversing our neighborhoods.

Brainerd Dispatch editorial
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Labor Day weekend is here, summer vacation is coming to an end and it’s time to welcome the kids back to school across the Brainerd lakes area.

With students returning to classes and other school activities en masse Tuesday, Sept. 6, it’s also time to remind motorists to be wary on area roadways. There will be a lot more kids, more cars and more buses traversing our neighborhoods.

As we approach the end of summer vacation, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety offers advice for motorists, parents and students alike:

Motorists should know:

  • In Minnesota, motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and an extended stop arm when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
  • Motorists should slow down, pay attention and anticipate school children and buses, especially in neighborhoods and school zones.
  • The best way to be aware of your surroundings at all times is to put the distractions away.

Parents, tell your students:

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  • When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder.
  • Wait for the bus driver to signal that it’s safe to cross.
  • When crossing the street to get on the bus or to go home, make eye contact with motorists before proceeding.

The Office of Traffic Safety also reminds motorists distracted driving is dangerous driving. In the Brainerd lakes area that statement seems especially prophetic given all of the road construction currently underway, so we hope motorists will pay extra heed to the road.
What we want is for students to have not only a safe but a successful school year. There’s a lot to look forward to in just the first week — nice weather, excellent facilities and for the first time in two years no discussion about distance learning or having to wear face masks.

So safe travels everyone. Stay alert, stay safe, and we hope everyone has a great 2022-23 school year.

Read more Our Opinion
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The Brainerd Dispatch Editorial Board members are Dispatch and Echo Journal Publisher Pete Mohs, former Dispatch Publisher Terry McCollough, Dispatch Editor Matt Erickson, Dispatch Managing Editor Renee Richardson and Echo Journal Editor Nancy Vogt.
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