Schools open in the area today and Prince William County Police will be out in force to target violations around schools, school crossings, and around school buses.
The Prince William County Police department released a statement Thursday that the department will be focusing on two specific violations: passing a stopped school bus and speeding in a school zone.
The department also advised that when the lights on a school zone sign are flashing, the speed posted on that sign is in effect and will be “aggressively enforced.”
“The penalty for speeding in a school zone is severe and can result in a fine of over $250,” said the release. “If the speed and circumstances warrant, drivers can be charged with reckless driving.”
According to the department, the Code of Virginia requires drivers to “halt, when approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children. Motorists must remain stopped until all persons are clear of the roadway and the bus is put into motion.”
The department said drivers do not need to stop if the bus is stopped on:
- The other side of a divided highway
- An access road
- A driveway when the other roadway, access road, or driveway is separated from the street on which they are driving by a physical barrier or an unpaved area.
Drivers do not need to stop when a bus is “loading or discharging passengers from or onto property immediately adjacent to a school if the driver is directed by a law-enforcement officer or other duly authorized uniformed school crossing guard to pass the school bus.”
Violating this law constitutes reckless driving and can result in a fine of up to $2,500 and possible jail time, said the department’s release.