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With students back, safety is a priority

Rosemount High School resource officer Chad Rosa enjoys getting to know Rosemount's youth and as the new school year begins he wants to make sure they are safe.

School started Sept. 4 and Rosa said it's important motorist remember to be vigilant about safe driving practices. The beginning of the school year means increased traffic as well as kids walking and biking to school.

An area of particular concern is off of Highway 3 near Rosemount Elementary School, Rosemount Middle School and Rosemount High School. Rosa said many kids in the nearby neighborhoods walk and bike to school and drivers should be on the lookout for children entering roadways before and after school.

Additionally, buses will be picking up and dropping off students throughout Rosemount. Minnesota law requires motorists to stop at least 20 feet from a school bus displaying yellow flashing lights or that has its stop arm extended.

Rosa said the lights indicate students are either entering or exiting the bus. The punishment for a stop arm violation when children are outside the bus is a gross misdemeanor.

Rosa said officers will be out patrolling before and after school and will ticket if they see violations.

"The officers will be out there to keep the kids safe," said Rosa.

Around the high school Rosa said drivers should be alert because there will be a lot of new drivers in the area.

This is Rosa's fourth year as the high school resource officer and he said the position has been rewarding. He's dedicated to making sure the kids have a safe school environment and hopes motorists will ensure their safety to and from school on the roadways.

The Minnesota Department of Safety suggests parents talk with their children about pedestrian safety. Also they suggest providing the following tips:

• When getting off the bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder.

• Before crossing the street, take five giant steps out from the front of the bus, or until the driver's face can be seen.

• Wait for the driver to signal that it's safe to cross

• Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Keep watching traffic when crossing.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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