KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Police Department is warning drivers to follow school zone traffic laws after issuing hundreds of citations on the first two weeks back to school.
As the new school year begins, drivers should remember that school zone speed limits are back in effect.
KPD said it issued a total of 737 traffic citations since August 8. Most of those citations were for speeding.
"Please use caution in active school zones and slow down!" KPD said.
Knox County Schools said drivers should also be aware of laws regarding school buses that are loading or unloading students. Unless there is a physical median or barrier between you and a stopped bus, you have to stop so kids can safely exit the bus.
"I think it's important because there are some times the kids don't listen, and they're just wandering around, and they could just go off the street," Liliana Cruz, mother of six said. " So I think it's really important for y'all to slow down because it's hard now to lose a child."
Data from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security shows it is four times more likely for a crash to turn fatal if it involves speeding.
For the past two weeks, KPD said it beefed up enforcement in school zones.
More officers were patrolling school zones during drop-off and dismissal times to prevent speeding, reckless driving and distracted driving, and to look out for drivers who fail to stop for school buses.
"KPD officers will be in as many school zones as possible during arrival & dismissal to make sure students stay safe. Do you part by using caution in active school zones -- slow down, put the phone away and pay attention," KPD said.