With local public schools back in session for the spring semester, our partners at the Las Cruces Police Department ask that motorists drive with caution, particularly when traveling near school zones and bus stops.
Speeding, changing lanes and passing other vehicles are three common traffic violations motorists make in school zones. Each of these violations is punishable by a minimum fine of $162.
Basic back-to-school safety tips for motorists:
- Obey all traffic laws and speed limits, especially the 15 MPH limit in school zones.
- Do not pass other vehicles in school zones or at crosswalks.
- Do not change lanes in school zones.
- Do not make U-Turns in school zones.
- Do not text or otherwise use a cell phone unless it is completely hands-free.
- Stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children.
- Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.
- Be alert and watch for children near schools, bus stops and in school parking lots.
- Unless licensed to do so, do not park in handicap spaces to drop off or pick up children.
- Do not use curbside lanes (in front of school buildings) that are designated for emergency vehicles only.
LCPD offers these safety tips for students:
- Parents of younger students who ride a school bus should consider escorting their children to and from their scheduled bus stop.
- Children should not stand or play in the roadway while waiting for, or leaving, a school bus.
- Students who ride the bus should follow all safety rules and avoid distracting the driver.
- Students who walk should do so in pairs, or groups, and follow safety rules for pedestrians.
- Cross streets only at crosswalks and follow the directions given by school crossing guards.
- Students who ride a bike should wear a helmet and follow all safety rules for bicyclists.
- Walk – don’t ride – a bicycle across streets and only in designated crosswalks.
- Teenage students who drive to school should avoid speeding and minimize distractions from cell phone usage, eating, loud music or disruptive passengers.
- Never overload a vehicle. Every passenger must use a safety belt.
- Always act as a positive role model for younger siblings and fellow students. Avoid horseplay on sidewalks, while riding a bus or bicycle, and while traveling in a vehicle.
— Samantha Lewis, LCPS Public Relations Coordinator, 575-527-5946, firstname.lastname@example.org