Law enforcement steps up patrol in school zones

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Thousands of kids in eastern North Carolina head back to school Monday, and it will impact everyone on the roads.

Speed limits in school zones are now back in effect. That, along with buses back, may slow drivers down on the roads this week.

Highway troopers are stepping up enforcement in school zones for the start of school. Drivers could face big fines for violations in school zones, more than $200 a ticket.

Trooper Doug Coley says after conducting Operation Safer Schools in the East, Highway Patrolmen know where to focus their efforts.

“We had about 3,000 speeding tickets in that initiative last quarter of last year so we know we’ve got some problems in some areas. We’re going to revisit those areas and try to slow some people down,” Trooper Coley said.

Many students walk or ride their bikes to school.

Trooper Coley says students are encouraged to use crosswalks and pay extra attention to the road, take out their headphones, and don’t look at their phone.

“Pedestrians need to be aware that cars are going to be coming down the road. You need to make some eye contact with those if you’re crossing at intersections before you cross. Also, motorists need to be aware that there are going to be a lot of pedestrians that are walking to schools,” Trooper Coley said.

Don’t forget buses are back on the roads.  Drivers can face fines of $500 and add points to their driving record for passing a stopped school bus. Some of the bus stop laws can be confusing, so click here for a refresher on when drivers can and can’t pass a school bus.

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