OLEAN, NY – ­­As the school bells start to ring, local drivers will have to share the roads with the 2,500 students in the City of Olean. And that is why Mayor William J. Aiello and Olean Police Department Chief Jeff Rowley are reminding residents of some of the rules of the road.

“It is important that drivers pay special attention to children walking to school as they may sometimes abruptly enter the roadway,” Aiello said. “Be observant of the flashing speed limit school zone signs near the Olean schools, reduce your speed and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks."

The Olean Police Department will be out to apprehend violators, the mayor noted.

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The Olean City School District has four public schools, and they are located on East Spring, Washington, Wayne and West Sullivan streets. Southern Tier Catholic School and Archbishop Walsh Academy are located on North 24th Street. The New Life Christian School is located on North Union Street. Head Start is housed on East Elm Street. The Epic Church on West Henley Street (former IJN Elementary) hosts a number of BOCES classes.

“Speed zones encompass the area around all of the schools, and the school zone speed limit is 20 miles per hour,”  Rowley said. “Motorists should be alert and reduce speed when necessary. They should also be aware of crosswalks and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks.”

Crossing guards who assist children to safely cross the street  before and after school are stationed at the Olean Intermediate Middle School and Washington West Elementary. 

School buses will be on local roadways.  

“Motorists should be aware that it is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload students,” Rowley said. “School buses are equipped with yellow flashing lights that remind motorists that the bus is preparing to stop. Red flashing lights signal that the school bus has stopped, and motorists on both sides of the road must stop as well. 

"Keep an eye on the children after they exit the bus; make sure that they are on the sidewalk and out of harm’s way before driving away," Aiello added. "Children can be unpredictable after they get off a bus.”

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