School’s open

The annual late summer ritual of children returning to school will be repeated across the country in the next few weeks. Here in Maine, most schools open next week, although in some areas, classes already may be underway.

In houses where bedtime rules now must be enforced, lunches made and permission slips signed, there is no mistaking this seasonal paradigm shift. In other households, however, next week will be business as usual.

All motorists should be mindful that there may be children walking along the road causing an increased need to slow down in school zones during the appropriate hours.

Especially when school first opens and children are in the thralls of the excitement of a new year and seeing their friends again, their attention is not likely to be on looking both ways before crossing the street or remaining on sidewalks to till traffic has passed.

While key intersections have crossing guards, most in this area’s small towns and villages do not.

And coming suddenly onto a stopped school bus with flashing red lights should no longer be a surprise. Starting this week and well into September, there will be numerous signs and public service announcements reminding motorists to exercise extra caution. Because of the serious risk should drivers not be careful, it warrants repeating again here: School’s open – slow sown.

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