School Zone Reminders For Motorists

The Champaign Police Department is reminding motorists to obey the school zone speed limits as children return to school on Wednesday, August 22, 2012. As officers continue to enforce school zone violations, the following safety reminders are being issued:

1. Reduce Speed. When approaching a marked school crossing zone between 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., on days when school is in operation and when school children are present, a driver should reduce his/her speed to 20 mph and yield to any children or adults crossing in the crosswalk area. Speeding in a school zone can result in a $150 fine and a mandatory court appearance.

2. Be Alert. Any person that causes bodily or great bodily harm to a child or a school crossing guard in a school crossing zone is subject to facing imprisonment and fines of up to $25,000.

3. Stop for School Bus Loading or Unloading Passengers. Motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop in school zone areas. Watch for yellow flashing lights activated on bus indicating that it is preparing to stop to load or unload children. A bus with red flashing lights activated and the extended stop arm out indicates that the bus has stopped and that children are loading or unloading. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing and the extended stop arm is withdrawn before proceeding.

4. Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalk. The safety patrol guards are at school zone crossings to direct the students and not drivers. 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. You may not turn left or right through an occupied crosswalk.

5. Cell phone use is prohibited in school/work zones.

6. Use of electronic communication devices is prohibited. Drivers cannot compose, send or read an electronic message in school or work zones.