School zone laws return with the start of a new year

Whether you're a parent, teacher or just someone who drives by schools on your morning commute, law enforcement officials are reminding everyone to pay attention especially when the school zone lights are flashing.

"We want parents to remember to be safe in school zones, watch your speed, watch for buses, stay off your cell phones and just be careful," Beaumont Officer Melanie Epperly said.

According to police, the plan is to increase patrols around schools as part of the zero tolerance policy for school zone violations.

Some of the violations they'll be on the lookout for include: speeding over the 20 mph limit in school zones, passing school buses when loading and unloading, using cell phones and disregarding crossing guards.

Last year the ban for school zones was extended to parking lots and drop off zones, so even if a vehicle is not in motion a person can still be fined for having that phone to their ear in a school zone.

The fines in school zones are doubled, but according to officers it's to protect every student at school and is not an effort to bring in more cash.

Students like sixth grader Colton Cornish who caught up with 12News outside of Marshall Middle School on the last day of summer, as he checked his class schedule.

Cornish said he's ready to take on middle school and the new opportunities it will bring.

"I can be in band," Cornish said. "I like the trumpet, so I'm going to play that and see how it works out it's my first time playing that."


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