Police warn drivers to use extra caution as students go back to class

WETHERSFIELD -- Students in dozens of communities in Connecticut headed back to school this week.

Berlin, East Hartford, Newington, South Windsor and West Hartford are just some of the towns with their first day of school Wednesday.  It was also the first day of school in Wethersfield, where Governor Dannel Malloy and the State’s Education Commissioner visited the Charles Wright Elementary School to kick of the school year.

State and local police are urging drivers, parents, and students to all work together to make the start of the school year a safe one. Tuesday morning in Milford a teen was hit  and seriously injured crossing the street.

State Police say drivers need to be extra careful to slow down in school zones, to watch closely for students walking to and from school, and to follow the school bus passing laws.  The law states it is illegal to pass a school bus while it is stopped, the red flashing lights are on, and the stop sign is extended.  If a driver is caught doing so, they could face a $465 fine for the first offense.

FOX 61 spent the morning with Wethersfield Police as they patrolled for these safety issues.  They said in the last school year they had nearly 50 violations and traffic stops for drivers speeding in a school zone.  They also had to investigate four incidents of drivers passing a stopped school bus and five cases of drivers not following a crossing guard’s signals.