Marysville Police look for speeders in school zones

MARYSVILLE — As students head back to school after Labor Day, Marysville Police are conducting emphasis patrols in school zones to look for speeders.

Police and traffic unit officers plan to deter speeding by increasing their presence in school zones for the first several weeks of school. Marysville schools open Sept. 8.

"Where police presence doesn't stop speeders, a ticket may," Marysville Police Lt. Jeff Goldman said, "because fines are higher in school zones for traffic violations than elsewhere."

Fines start at $189 for going one to five miles over the posted 20-mile-per-hour speed limit, and can reach as high as $784 for 35 mph or more. The 20-mph speed limit applies on school days regardless of whether students are present.

Marysville Police are warning drivers to be extra-cautious in September near Marysville Middle School and Liberty Elementary, where the city of Marysville is completing sidewalk improvements funded through a state "safe routes to schools" grant.

Most of the Marysville school zones are marked with alternating amber flashing lights attached to a sign that reads, "School speed limit 20 mph when lights are flashing or when children are present." The city installed solar-powered flashing beacons at five elementary schools two years ago in designated school zones, which extend 300 feet either direction from marked crosswalks. City street crews will be installing flashing beacons at more schools in the near future.

"Emphasis patrols, coupled with flashing beacons, crosswalks and crossing guards, should give drivers more than enough notice to slow down when approaching schools, and ultimately reduce the risk of pedestrian and vehicle accidents," Goldman said.

Traffic safety awareness tips

- At the crosswalk: The safety patrol members guarding the crosswalk are there to direct the students, not the traffic. It is a driver's responsibility to stop to allow pedestrians to cross in a crosswalk. Please stop well before the crosswalk and stay stopped until the crosswalk is no longer occupied, not just until your lane is clear.

- Children on wheels: If your children ride a bike, scooter or skateboard to school, remind them that they must walk the bike or scooter, or carry the skateboard across the crosswalk. If they roller-skate or rollerblade to school, they must remove their skates or blades and walk across the crosswalk, as well.

- Stopping within a school zone: Never stop or park your car in the crosswalk or within 20 feet of the crosswalk. Students and other pedestrians rely on the crosswalk and need the visibility that the 20-foot buffer provides to cross safely.

- Stuck behind a school bus? It probably happens when you're in a hurry, but remember that you must come to a full stop when the bus is loading or unloading children, whether you are behind the bus or approaching it from the opposite direction. The bus driver activates a warning signal, usually flashing lights and a "stop" sign, to let you know when you must stop. The rule applies whether you're driving a two-lane or a multi-lane roadway.

- Children are not adults: Young children see and hear differently than adults. They have less peripheral vision and difficulty determining the source of a sound.

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