Watch school zone speed limits, crosswalks as students head back to class

With the beginning of the school year approaching, drivers should be mindful of speed limits and crosswalks in school zones.
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:14 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Today marks the first day of school for the Douglas School district and, despite the excitement, parents and students should remember some basic school safety.

Drivers should be on the lookout for school zone speed limits and students heading to class. In the past, the worst offenders for speeding in school zones were parents and teachers.

“Every once in a while, we will run into something that typically it’s a parent that is running late trying to get their kids to school so they can get off to work themselves, that’s where we usually run into issues. Speeding is the most common issue. It’s not so much watching for the crosswalk, but speeding is a huge problem that we want to watch out for,” said Sergeant Scott Sitzes, the school resource officer supervisor for the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

In school zones, the speed limit is reduced to 15 miles an hour and violators can be fined double.

While many schools have crossing guards to help students it is still the driver’s responsibility to follow the posted speed limits and yield to anyone in the crosswalk.

“It’s a preventative measure to having a crossing walk monitor out there but there’s times when there isn’t, when there’s lots of students who walk to school a little bit earlier before teachers are on duty as crosswalk guards. So it’s really important just to always pay attention to what’s going on those cross walks,” said Rebecca Nelson, a teacher at Vandenberg Elementary School.

To make sure students stay safe on their journey to and from school, parents should educate their children on safety tips such as using the crosswalks and looking left and right before crossing the street.