Sheriff's offices step up patrols for first of school year

CONYERS — Now that school is back in session in both Rockdale and Newton counties, local law enforcement agencies are reminding drivers to be extra cautious – and patient – on the roads.

Today is the first day of school in Newton County, which means the summer hiatus from school bus traffic and parents dropping off and picking up students is over.

“We urge everyone to be mindful of the increase in traffic, particularly around the schools over the next several days,” said Newton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Felicia Jefferson.

Jefferson said that School Resource Officers will be assigned to direct traffic for the first few days of school at the county’s elementary schools, where parents are more likely to take their children to school.

She said that parents whose children are attending schools where construction is underway – such as the roadwork at Oak Hill Elementary School on Ga. Highway 212 – should allow for a little more time than usual.

In addition to having deputies direct traffic during the pick-up and drop-off times, the NCSO will be stepping up traffic enforcement in the areas as well.

“Our Traffic Unit will be out on the road to make sure that drivers adhere to the speed limits and use caution around buses and other school traffic,” Jefferson said.

The same is true in Rockdale County, where students headed back to school on Monday.

The RCSO will have Task Force units in school zones ticketing traffic violators to keep everyone safe by strictly enforcing traffic laws, the Sheriff’s Office stated in a press release.

School zone times in Rockdale County are as follows:

Elementary schools are from 7:05 to 7:50 a.m. and 1:55 to to 2:40 p.m.;

Middle schools are from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. and 3:25 to 4:25 p.m.; and

High schools are from 7:35 to 8:35 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

“I hope that Rockdale County students, teachers and administrators have a safe and successful school year,” said Sheriff Eric Levett. “The RCSO will be out to keep them safe by enforcing traffic laws and watching for speeders in the school zones all year. Drivers need to be patient and allow themselves more time to make it to their destination.”