With school starting Monday, police want to remind drivers to pay extra attention to school zones, as they will be cracking down on speeders.
Starting Monday and continuing through the rest of the school year, the Grand Junction Police Department says it is going to step up officer patrols in school zones across the city, looking for speeding drivers.
The police department has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to speeding in school zones, and authorities say it will cost violators big time.
Speeding 5 to 9 miles an hour over the posted speed limit when the school zone lights are flashing gets you a $125 fine and one point on your license. Going 10 to 19 miles over will cost you $150 and will slap 4 points on your license.
Police also want to remind motorists to keep an eye out for children walking and riding their bikes to school, even if they're not in a school zone. Not stopping at a crosswalk when students are in it could lead to charges of reckless endangerment, a class three misdemeanor.
Officers say they hope their efforts to step up patrols will force motorists to pay more attention when they're driving near schools.
"The most common thing we hear from drivers speeding in school zones is they don't the flashing lights," said Sergeant Doug Norcross with the Grand Junction Police Department. "To us, that's concerning because if they're not seeing the flashing lights, are they watching for children that might be in the crosswalks."
Police say over the past two years they've seen an increase in the number of tickets issues in schools zones. They say that has largely been the result of expanding their traffic unit and increasing patrols.
Officers note the majority of the tickets they write are for drivers going 10 plus miles over the speed limit.
During the 2007-2008 school year, police wrote 668 tickets in school zones.