Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista schools are back in session, and Fort Huachuca Police and Sierra Vista Police Department personnel remind motorists about traffic laws to help keep youth safe in school zones and around school buses.
Heed yellow signs near crosswalks in schools zones during school hours. Vehicles must stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and wait until the pedestrian is safely out of the crosswalk.
Also remember the speed limit in a school zone is 15 miles per hour, and is strictly enforced. It is also illegal for vehicles to pass while in a school zone. It is illegal for traffic to pass on the right in a school zone when a vehicle is waiting to make a left turn.
“This is especially true where buses are involved,” said Sgt. Dan Tyner, Fort Huachuca Civilian Police.
Traffic fines can be double or higher for speeding, not stopping for pedestrians in a crosswalk, and passing in a school zone.
“[Traffic violations in] any school zone carries the highest penalty and can be more than double the fine for construction zone violations,” Tyner added. “The fine depends on the violation.”
Tyner advises drivers to pay attention in school zones or when entering one of the traffic circles on post.
“[Drive in school zones] and enter traffic circles at 15 miles per hour. People tend to hit the traffic circles pretty fast. That’s dangerous, especially when children are crossing.”
Under Arizona law, sharing the road safely with school buses means stopping before reaching a motionless bus with red emergency flashers on and stop sign out.
Arizona law also says that whether vehicles are following a school bus or facing it in the oncoming lane, motorists traveling in both directions must stop and wait until the school bus starts moving again or the red flashing lights are off and the stop sign retracted. The only time people are not required to stop for school bus is if there is a solid median between it and your vehicle.
“A good example would be the solid median on Avenida Cochise west of State Route 92 or south of Buffalo Soldier Trail on State Route 92,” said Cpl. Scott Borgstadt, Sierra Vista Police Department.
All drivers can help keep children safe during the 2014/15 school year by being especially careful when driving through areas where children are walking to or from school or other activities.