Helena-area students head back to class next week and Helena Police say drivers will need to pay attention and use caution when driving through school zones.
School Resource Officer, Jon Cook, tells MTN that driers will want to pay especially close attention around Helena’s three elementary schools, Bryant, Central and Jim Darcy.
“The thing we want to remind people to do, is be aware of kids, not just kids in the school zone itself but anywhere around the schools, and the school zones may be changing due to some of the new construction, such as here at Bryant School,” said Officer Cook.
Authorities say drivers need to pay attention in other areas as well, including around school bus stops in the morning and afternoon.
Drivers are reminded that it is unlawful to pass a school bus, when dropping off students at a bus stop when its flashers are on and the stop sign is out.
Officer Cook continued, “There's going to be more children coming from all different streets and locations, so, they can act unpredictable and they (depending on their age) might not have the best safety as far as crossing roads or crosswalks.”
HPD advises to be vigilant this school year; school-zone traffic violations may exceed $235 but obviously, the greatest cost would be injury to a child or loss of a child’s life.
Officer Cook also told MTN that the Helena Police Department are going to be working extra patrols in those school zones.
Currently, the school zone safety speed limit is 15 MPH (miles per-hour). School zone speed laws take effect August 28 and will remain in effect Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.