As several Santa Barbara drivers have discovered, the Police Department Traffic Squad has been on the alert near schools and bus stops since the fall term began. The school zone is anywhere within 500 feet of school grounds during school hours when children are present, and also any highway posted with school warning signs during those times.

With the school year only a few weeks old, the Traffic Squad has already ticketed many drivers for passing a school bus with its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended (a $695 fine), failure to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian within a marked or unmarked crosswalk ($238 ding), and unsafe speed in a school zone ($238-$490 depending on how far over the speed limit the driver was clocked). In all school zones, the speed limit is 25 mph.

The mobs of cars pulling in and out and the squads of kids milling around at school drop-off and pickup times prompts drivers to be either patient or impatient. The Police Department advises the former.


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