GPD urges caution as public school students go back to school; school safety pushed

Drivers are urged to maintain speeds of 15 miles per hour when driving in a school zone.

As the summer comes to a close, the roads will become busier this coming week.

And starting Tuesday, hundreds of public school students will be putting on their uniforms in preparation for the new school year. That means that more buses, cars, and student drivers will be filling the island’s streets.

According to Guam Police Department spokesperson, Sgt. Paul Tapao, motorists can expect to experience delays on their morning commute.

“People are really going to try to get to and from home, their schools, and work. It’s going to be an uptick in traffic, so please expect delays. We ask motorists to please be cautious out there. Pay attention to school buses. Pay attention to the first indicators, which are the flashing red lights. If the stop sign is deployed on the bus, please adhere to that,” Tapao said.

Tapao also advises the public to be alert of their surroundings and to maintain speeds of 15 miles per hour when driving in a school zone as students will be using the crosswalks in those areas…and for parents to teach their kids to practice road safety skills.

“Develop a plan with fellow parents with kids who also utilize the same bus shelter. Exercise stranger danger safety tips. Teach kids to play in the bus shelter rather than playing outside. Teach kids how to safely cross the streets. Look both ways,” Tapao said.

In addition, Sgt. Tapao says that GPD will be joining the Guam Fire Department along with the Guam Army National Guard in the second annual “High Five the 5-0,” an event in which law enforcement and first responders greet incoming students at their first day of school.

“It helps alleviate the stress and the nervousness and the fear factor when kids go into school and they see a smiling police officer welcoming them back. It really gives them a sense of confidence. It really is done to foster a relationship with the kids and the community,” Tapao said.

The schools that GPD will be visiting include Lyndon B. Johnson, Tamuning, and Inarajan Elementary, and the Untalan, and Jose Rios middle schools.