School doesn’t start in Clark County until Aug. 27, but Mesquite motorists should be aware that schools in Arizona start next week.
If driving in the Arizona communities of Beaver Dam or Littlefield, be aware the Mohave County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) is stepping up speed enforcement in those area school zones.
According to a release from the MCSO, across the nation, millions of children will begin and end their day on a school bus. So with buses and children crowding the streets again, drivers are encouraged to review the “rules of the road.”
Marked school zones have a 15-mph speed limit and in most cases, fines are doubled for those speed violations, said MCSO Sgt. Don Bischoff.
Keeping children safe in designated school zones is a top priority, Bischoff noted. School zones in Arizona are marked with special yellow-green signing and indicate reduced speed limits during displayed hours. Parents, teachers and drivers not only have the responsibility of safely sharing the road with other motorists, school buses, pedestrians and cyclists, but they also have the duty of teaching children about traffic safety, he reminded.
Just as in Nevada, Bischoff noted, “Drivers need to remember, it is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its red lights are flashing and its stop arm is extended. The yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to unload and motorists should prepare to stop their vehicles. Motorists must remain stopped until the red lights stop flashing. Bus drivers may report any violations they observe to local law enforcement. An officer who receives word of a violation will follow up and attempt to make contact with the driver.”
Children in the Grand Canyon State need to be taught responsibility, as well, Bischoff added. “When children ride the bus, they should have a safe location to wait for its arrival, away from traffic and the street. Children should always stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals then to enter. Once on the bus, students are to remain seated at all times, and facing forward in their seats. When being dropped off, children should exit the bus and take 10 giant steps away from the bus, keeping a wide distance between them and the bus. The bus driver can see the children best when they are away from the bus. Children who need to cross the street, should do so in front of the bus and only after taking another 10 steps ahead of the bus or until they can make eye contact with the bus driver.
Bischoff warned that the MCSO will have several days of enhanced officer presence at select times in most school zone using over-time funds provided by the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety. Motorists are reminded to be on the lookout in residential neighborhoods for children waiting at bus stops as well as children who walk to and from school.