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School zones to get scrutiny

Profile image for By Britney Tabor
By Britney Tabor

Police to be watching for violations when classes begin Monday

School starts Monday for most Denton County school districts, and that means school zone speed limits and traffic signs will be active.

Officer Ryan Grelle, Denton police spokesman, encourages drivers to adhere to posted traffic signs. Crossing guards and police officers will be out on the roadways near schools, and there will be consequences for traffic violators, he said.

“If found in violation of speeding and [or] using a cellular device, you can receive a ticket,” Grelle said.

People caught using cellphones while driving in school zones face fines up to $200, according to traffic signs near Denton district schools.

A total of 625 vehicle accidents that resulted in two fatalities and 112 serious injuries occurred in Texas school zones last year, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. More than 100 of those occured in August and September, the start of the school year.

TxDOT reports that the common contributing factors in the accidents included “driver inattention, failure to control speed and failure to yield the right-of-way at stop signs.”

On Wednesday, the AAA Texas organization released tips for drivers traveling through school zones:

Slow down and be prepared to stop quickly for increased vehicle or pedestrian traffic.

Obey traffic signs.

Stay alert and avoid distractions while driving.

Scan between parked cars for children.

Look for clues of children nearby including crossing guards, bicycles and playgrounds.

Stop for school buses that are picking up and dropping off children.

Check for children when reversing.

Watch for bicycles and keep at least 3 feet of distance between vehicles and bicyclists.

Factor additional driving time needed when destination routes include school zones.

Consider revising travel routes to avoid school zones and neighborhoods with more traffic and lower speed limits.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.