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Insight from WFPD: School zone safety factors need to be adhered to

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As students are busy picking out new school clothes, back packs and school supplies in anticipation of the new school year, it is also time for drivers to start thinking about school zone safety.

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With West Fargo schools starting on Thursday August 25, the West Fargo Police Department is reminding drivers that it's the law to slow down in school zones and watch for children in cross walks. Kids are excited about going back to school and are not always thinking about traffic and crosswalks. We remind drivers to be on their toes during the morning and afternoon hours when children and walking and biking to and from school.

We also ask parents to take the time to sit down and talk with their children about safety, including safe routes to and from school, the importance of traveling to school with a friend, crossing the street at cross walks, and the importance of obeying traffic signals.

Motorists are also asked to remember to slow down, obey all traffic laws and be alert in school zones, paying attention to speed limits and crosswalks. Speeding in a schools zone with children present is a minimum of a $40 fine.

When a school bus is stopped with its stop sign out and flashing red lights on, driver's in both directions are required to stop their vehicles before reaching the bus and remain stopped until the stop sign is retracted, flashing red lights are off and the bus resumes motion or you are signaled to resume by the bus driver. In West Fargo this infraction is a $50 fine and a six-point violation.

Motorists should also watch for children gathering near bus stops; look for children walking or biking when backing out of driveways or leaving a garage; and reduce distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road.

Remember it's the law to yield to pedestrians in cross walks.Let's get back into the "back to school driving mode" and all have a safe school year.

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