In recent weeks, life has been pretty laid back in the Old Town-Orono area. It’s a quiet time of year here, with many people at camp or on vacation.

It’s been a beautiful summer but alas, it is coming to an end. We saw the first signs of the nearness of fall this past week, with some of the first college students for the 2012-13 school year moving into their apartments. Soon, they will be followed by thousands of others. And at the same time, children will be heading back to our local elementary and high schools.

Roads that have been quite quiet will quickly grow busy. There will be students and parents going back and forth from schools buses picking up and dropping off children. There will be students riding bicycles, others on foot, walking and pedaling along and across the roads.

Drivers always need to be cautious behind the wheel, but the urgency to do so increases when school is in session; those who have lapsed into bad habits during the lazy summer months should be getting themselves back into good driving habits now. They’ll need to be alert and on the lookout for children darting into the road, to not pass stopped school buses. And the heavy-footed need to back off the gas pedal a bit, especially when you are going through a school zone.

Everybody needs to do their part to make the roads safe for our children. Use common sense when driving, and leave a little early when you can to allow yourself a little time to get to your destination. That will ensure the children can get safely to where they’re going as well.

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