As school starts, drivers are warned to slow down - FOX 13 News

As school starts, drivers are warned to slow down

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Lunchboxes and backpacks are probably stocked full of supplies, but on the eve of Hillsborough County Public School's first day back to class, deputies are asking drivers to be prepared.

"We'll have all of our motor units and crash investigators highly visible in the areas," Hillsborough County Sheriff's Cpl. Doug White said Monday.

The HCSO and Tampa Police Department will be saturating school zones Tuesday morning, as all 266 of the county's schools head to class.

Nine other Tampa Bay area counties started school Monday and officers were prepared to reacquaint drivers with the rules.

"People over the summer aren't used to the school zones being enforced anymore, so we're just looking for traffic to slow down," said Sarasota Police Officer Bruce King.

Some areas of Hillsborough County powered up school zone signs last week, to remind drivers to slowdown as kids head back to class. Come Tuesday, those warnings are over. School zone offenses are double the price of other moving violations, with tickets starting at $153.

"Based on your speed, it's going to go up from there," White said.

Deputies also warn drivers to be cautious as school buses roll back onto the roads. They say a little extra caution will go a long way to keep students safe.

"Be vigilant when you go through there. Kids can dart off the sidewalk at any time," White said.

Deputies recommend leaving home 15 to 20 minutes early to allow yourself enough time to move through congested school traffic on Tuesday.

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