Police departments are stepping up patrols near school zones and bus stops as children head back to school across the Midstate.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re walking to school, if they’re crossing the road. Regardless, you need to pay attention to the children and everywhere else," Rebecca Keoneth, a parent said. 

Keoneth has a 17-year-old daughter. She lives by a school in Murfreesboro.

“As a mom, my child means the world to me and if something were to happen to her then that’s going to be on the adult who wasn’t paying attention to what they were doing," Keoneth said.

That's why Rutherford County deputies are out making sure you're following the law.

It means staying off your phone and watching out for school buses and the kids who get on and off them.

“We don’t want anybody to get hurt. We want everybody to have a safe school year, to get to and from school safely with no issues this year," Rutherford County Sheriff’s Deputy T.J. Hinson said.

Hinson is a father of four. He spotted someone texting and driving while on patrol.

“We have the new hands free law and she actually swerved over into the turning lane. So, I made a traffic stop on that," Hinson said.

Bottom line, police say be patient, don't drive distracted and follow the speed limit so everyone can stay safe.

Other tips from the National Safety Council:

  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children.
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

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Reporter

A graduate of the University of Florida, Cameron joined News4 in December 2018.

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