By OHP Trooper Tommy Allen
It's back to school time again and that means the kids are going to be traveling to and from school. We all need to remember the school zones around the area in which we drive to and from work. That means we need to be extra careful around certain times indicated by each school district which students will be attending school. Always pay close attention to all cross walks and school zone where students will be walking across streets and where they are loading and unloading buses.
When driving to and from work watch out for the school buses. Buses will be making frequent stops for children in our cities and rural communities. Remember the buses will have yellow flashing lights when they are making their stops and red lights when they are stopped for loading and unloading children. Never pass a school bus while the bus loading and unloading lights are activated. We get complaints on people every year for passing school buses. Even when a bus is done unloading children you never know when a child will cross the roadway going to or from their residence. Bus drivers are trained to get the stop sign out on the bus during loading and unloading children. The fine for failure to stop for the bus loading and unloading lights is $306.50. Once a person enters a guilty plea for failure to stop for the bus loading and unloading lights, your license WILL BE revoked for a period of one year. During that year of revocation, the State of Oklahoma will not issue a temporary or limited drivers license.
The fine for speeding in a school can result in the fines doubling per title 47 11-806.1. Where any portion of a road, or highway is a properly marked school zone, as indicated with appropriate warning signs placed in accordance with the latest edition of the manual on uniform traffic control devices, and a reduced speed limit as properly posted, shall be in effect during certain times due to the presence or potential presence of school children, no person shall drive any vehicle upon that portion of the highway which is the school zone in excess of the reduced speed limit so posted when the reduced speed limit is in effect.
So, everyone please drive careful around school zones and pay close attention to the school buses. Our children deserve to be safe while traveling to and from school in our great state. If you see a violation and would like to report it feel free to call Troop E headquarters at 580-924-2601 or dial *55 on your cell phone.