Kirsten Mustain

Grove Sun

Grove Police are warning drivers to be safety-conscious as the new school year begins.

The first challenge Grove drivers will face is adjusting to the new one-way streets around the Middle School, the Upper and Lower elementary schools and the ECC.

“We hope that will alleviate some of the safety issues we’ve had in the past,” said Grove Police Chief Mark Morris. “We know it’s a transition and it’s somewhat confusing, so we hope everyone will use patience and caution.”

Morris noted that GPD would be out in force during the first few weeks of the new school year.

“We are going to saturate the area with police,” Morris said. “We want to have a safe and happy beginning.”

Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) will be available at the school campus during the first couple of weeks, Morris said.

“They will be there to assist drivers and help the flow of traffic,” he said.

Morris said that drivers in the area should pay close attention to pedestrians as well as automobile traffic.

“Of course we will see increased pedestrian traffic in addition to cars. Kids walking to school will be excited and they won’t be paying attention,” he said. “Drivers need to be very aware of what is going on around them at all times.”

Student Resource Officer Tracy Bloss said he hopes drivers will also remember to stop when school buses display their stop signs.

“Anywhere in Grove all lanes have to stop for school buses,” Bloss said, noting that last year he had to deal with a number of violators in that area. “People need to remember that they can be cited for not stopping.”

Morris concurred, adding that worse than being cited is the very real possibility that someone could get hurt when motorists do not obey school bus signals.

“Everyone needs to make courtesy, caution and safety their watch words as we go through this transition,” Morris concluded.