Are you the type who runs late? You might think twice about speeding, because Fairfax County Police will be on the lookout on the first day of school, Sept. 3.
In recognition of the important date, police officers will be posted in school zones and near bus stops. So, don't forget to stop when school bus lights and their stop signs are turned on.
There were 79 school bus crashes in 2012 and 43 crashes in 2013.
Police issued 1,500 citations in Fairfax County in 2012, including 961 for speeding in a school crossing and 194 for passing a stopped school bus. Most of the tickets were issued from 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., according to police.
Police offer the following safety tips to remind drivers this week:
- It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load and unload children.
- When bus lights and stop signs are activated, vehicles must stop in both directions, unless they are separated from the bus by a median.
- The area of 10 feet around a bus is where children are in the most danger of being struck. Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children the necessary space to enter and exit the bus.
- Be alert. Children are unpredictable. Children walking or biking may appear suddenly and quickly; pay attention at all times.
- Be patient. There will be additional vehicles on our roadways; some motorists may be learning new routes to schools and this may temporarily impact traffic flows on various roadways.
- Drivers should not block crosswalks. Allow pedestrians ample space to walk safely.
- Always stop when directed to do so by a police officer or crossing guard.
- Children may be difficult to see. Take extra care to look out for children near schools, neighborhoods, playgrounds and parks.
- Don't honk your horn or rev your engine to "scare" pedestrians.