Students and teachers aren’t the only ones getting ready for the new school year. The is getting drivers ready for the first day of school as well.
Beginning on Monday, police will begin their traffic enforcement program in an effort to remind Wilmington drivers to slow down with the first day of school just over one week away.
Lt. Joe Desmond said the department will set up its sign board near Town Common to alert drivers to slow down. There will also be additional patrols near some of the major bus routes such as Glen Road and Woburn Street.
“If we can get the message out and get more people aware, it helps in the long run,” said Desmond. “Drivers get out of the routine during the summertime. Traffic dies down, people are on vacation and you’re not seeing kids waiting by the bus stop, so you get out of that mindset. It’s our job to get people back in that mindset to remind them that they’re about to see kids out there.”
Tuesday, August 28, is the first day that students are scheduled to return to classes across Wilmington. Desmond said every fall as youths head back to the classroom there are issues such as parking and drop off that officers have to deal with.
“That first week, no matter how much you rehearse is a little crazy,” said Desmond. “But most school years, within three weeks to a month things are running smoothly.”
Desmond said there isn’t a particular age that he recommends children reach before they begin walking to school on their own. But he did say that if the route to school is a dangerous road, police prefer that parents drive their children if possible.
Even though the lieutenant isn’t heading back to the classroom himself next week, he is excited about a new year.
“We are looking forward to a great school year,” said Desmond. “As is the case every year, our number one priority is keeping everyone safe.”