School Zone Safety

With all the kiddos headed back to class, It made for a very busy morning on the roads.

Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers found out quite a few got caught off guard while driving through school zones.

So, we've got some reminders to help keep everyone safe as we kick off this new school year.

Those flashing lights mean slow down.

On this first day back to school, we watched Wichita Falls Traffic Enforcement Officers pull over a number of vehicles, mostly all for speeding.

"This time of year everyone is a little rusty on remembering these are school zones. I have made a few stops this morning and the main excuse is that they forgot school started today," Officer Ryan Piper said.

This is especially important with all the increased traffic, motor or on foot.

Although the crossing guards do help, little ones may not always be aware of their surroundings. So, always be on the lookout, whether they're walking, riding a bike or with mom in a stroller.

"It is illegal to be talking on a cell without wireless or hands free communication device in a school zone during school zone. Again, it is a distraction and we want all drivers to be mindful of where they are and what they are doing at that time," Officer Piper said.

This is the second year the school zone cell phone ban has been in place.

If you get caught, a ticket could run you up to $200.

Another change since the start of school last year is new seat belt laws.

The law which went into effect this summer says children younger than eight must be in a booster seat unless they are taller than four feet nine.

"People are going to be picking up their children and they're going to be hopping in and taking off because they're in a hurry and want to get out of traffic. We need to make sure children are seatbelted in before you pull onto the road. We will be looking for that as well," Officer Piper said.

While officers will be enforcing all traffic laws, right now, the main concern is to get the speeding under control.

"As we enforce school zones, people will slow down, we hope, and make it safer for everybody," Officer Piper said.

The school zone we were at lasted for an hour and fifteen minutes.

In that time, we saw at least five people get pulled over. Some were issued citations, others warnings.

Just a reminder, speeding in a school zone can cost you up to $300.

It's 25 dollars per mile over the speed limit.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6