Police enforce bus zone law at elementary school
In less than one week, the Roberts Police Department issued eight citations to parents dropping off their children in the bus zone at St. Croix Central Elementary school.
Since September, elementary school officials and the Roberts Police Department have noticed an increase in the number of parents dropping off their children in the restricted bus zone, despite the three signs on the property saying not to.
During the school week it is illegal to drive in a school bus zone between 7 and 8:10 a.m. and 2:45 and 3:45. At SCC Elementary, the loop in front of the school is the designated bus zone.
Despite the posted rule, Roberts Police Chief Dan Burgess says police and school officials see "a minimum of five vehicles, if not more," parked in the bus zone each morning.
"The problem has gotten worse," Burgess said.
Not only is it difficult for buses to maneuver around vehicles in the narrow loop, but there are major safety hazards associated with children running in-between cars and buses.
Since some parents aren't obeying the signs or warnings from school officials and police, Burgess said the police department has had no choice but to issue citations to those breaking the law.
The last thing Burgess wants to do in the morning is issue a citation to a parent dropping off their child. "But we don't have an alternative," he said.
Police are issuing citations for failure to obey a sign. Disobeying the bus sign has the same consequences as disobeying any other state sign, Burgess said.
The citations come with an $88.80 price tag and a three point deduction on one's driving record.
Although the police cannot be at the school to constantly monitor whether individuals are obeying the bus rules, the school and police department have discussed having community volunteers watch for parents disobeying the the signs.
Burgess said parents should enter the school property via the north entrance and drop off their children at either the small front parking lot, or at the back entrance of the school.
Burgess asks that parents and other community members cooperate with school officials and police to keep students at the elementary school safe.
"Follow the rules and keep everybody safe," he said.