Police issued 1,105 citations during their Sept. 4-14 “Back to School” traffic campaign, which targeted violations around schools, school crossings and buses traveling on area roads.
The Prince William County Police Department said in a press release that nearly half of the citations issued to drivers were for speeding in school zones or “speeding generally.”
“Along with other offenses, officers focused on two specific violations that significantly impact the safety of our school children: Passing a Stopped School Bus and Speeding in a School Zone,” said a release from the department. “The purpose of these efforts is to help protect students and school staff. Traffic safety involving our students, schools, and school buses is one of the highest priorities for the members of this Department. Drivers should pay particular attention and use caution when driving through school zones and around buses throughout the year.”
From the department:
“The Code of Virginia requires drivers to halt, when approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children. Motorists must remain stopped until all persons are clear of the roadway and the bus is put into motion. (Drivers need not stop if the school bus is stopped on the other side of a divided highway, on an access road, or on a driveway when the other roadway, access road, or driveway is separated from the street on which they are driving by a physical barrier or an unpaved area. The driver of a vehicle also need not stop when approaching a school bus which is loading or discharging passengers from or onto property immediately adjacent to a school if the driver is directed by a law-enforcement officer or other duly authorized uniformed school crossing guard to pass the school bus.) Violating this law constitutes reckless driving and can result in a fine of up to $2,500 and possible jail time.”“When the lights on a School Zone sign are flashing, the speed posted on the sign is in effect and will be aggressively enforced,” said the release. “The penalty for speeding in a school zone is severe and can result in a fine of more than $250. If the speed and circumstances warrant, drivers can be charged with reckless driving.”