SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — After weeks of increased patrols in school areas, Elk Grove police are cracking down on drivers who speed and park illegally in school zones.

The effort is part of a zero-tolerance enforcement campaign that started Monday. The enforcement campaign includes educating drivers on where parking and stopping are prohibited in school zones. 

“You might’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks that we’ve been hanging around the school areas to help with safety issues,” Elk Grove police officer Ken Walter said in a social media video. 

“The Elk Grove Police Department is going to be enforcing all laws pertaining to the schools to make sure that the roads are safe for children and the motoring public,” Welter continued. “Make sure you’re staying aware of all your surroundings while driving.”  

What is the law for driving near school zones?

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Handbook, speed limits are 25 miles per hour, unless otherwise posted, when driving within 500 to 1,000 feet of a school while children are outside or crossing the street.

“If the school grounds have no fence and children are outside, never drive faster than 25 mph,” the DMV said on its website. “Some school zones may have speed limits as low as 15 mph.” 

When driving near schools during school hours, the DMV said to look for: 

  • Bicyclists and pedestrians
  • School safety patrols or crossing guards
  • Stopped schools and children crossing the street

According to the DMV, when a bus flashes red lights, drivers must stop in either direction to allow children to walk safely across the street. If a driver fails to stop while the lights are flashing, they can be fined up to $1,000 and their license could be suspended for one year. 

The only time a driver doesn’t need to stop for a school bus is when it is on the other side of a divided or multilane highway, which is two or more lanes in each direction.