Cheyenne, Wyo.- School starts in less than a week, and that means drivers need to be even more aware of school zone safety.
Students in Laramie County head back to classes starting August 24th- resulting in more traffic during prime hours for traveling to and from work.
Cheyenne Police Department P.I.O., Kevin Malatesta, says once school starts, it will be a matter of changing driving patterns. He said, "You may have a slight delay, you may need to slow down just a little bit." Malatesta added, "Make sure you're following the rules. Look at what the time is. If you're needing to slow down, make sure you do that because we will be watching for it."
Malatesta says the main violation in school zones is speeding. Most speed limits near a school slow down to 20 mph. The fine for speeding in a school zone is almost double that of a regular speeding ticket.
The CPD also says they will be watching to make sure people stop when buses have their lights flashing and stop signs out. The fine for passing a stopped school bus is $400. Malatesta said, "When a school bus is stopped, especially when they have the stop signs out, all traffic in both directions needs to stop and obey that stop sign." He added, "Kids are getting off that school bus and if they run off into the street and get run-over by a car, that's pretty much a worst nightmare for anyone."
If you pass a stopped school bus and don't get pulled over immediately afterward, there is still a chance you could see a citation. The CPD says most of the Laramie County school buses are equipped with cameras that can capture the passing driver's picture and the license of the vehicle.
Malatesta says if you're unsure whether or not to pass the bus, the best option is to wait.
The CPD says they will be out looking at every single school and making sure the rules are being enforced.