As students prepare for another year in the classrooms, regional police officers say they’ll be particularly diligent in enforcing school-zone traffic violations.

“I want all drivers to understand that a school zone is designed to protect our kids, and the people who drop them off and pick them up,” said Crescent City Police Chief Ivan Minsal. “It’s not a speed zone or an expressway for them to get to work on time.  

“The loss or injury of one child is one too many.”

He said the Crescent City Police Department will deploy increased patrols during school hours, particularly at the beginning and end of weekday.

The Brookings Police Department will increase its visibility during morning drop-off, at lunchtime and at the end of each school day, said Police Sergeant Travis Wright. The department partners with the Kalmiopsis Elementary and Azalea Middle School crossing guards, who focus on student safety during drop-off and pick-up.

In Oregon, fines for traffic violations in school zones double, so they can range from $225 to $875.

Both departments remind motorists to pay attention to the posted speed limits in school zones and to watch for school buses using flashing warning lights. All vehicles - traveling in either direction - must stop when a school bus is flashing its red lights, and remain stopped as long as the red lights are lit or flashing.

Crescent City officials said most of the traffic incidents the police department deals with in school zones usually involve vehicles speeding, parking along a red-painted curb, making unsafe U-turns, changing lanes unsafely or pulling away from the curb in a dangerous manner.

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