JANESVILLE -- School starts next week.
For parents, this might be a great relief.
Or it might be a traffic citation for speeding in a school zone after little Noah refuses to get dressed or Olivia runs back into the house at the last minute for her homework.
The Janesville Police Department wants to remind parents and other motorists of the rules surrounding schools and school zones, according to a news release from the Janesville Police Department. While some harried parents might feel they are the exceptions to rules about crossing guards and parking spots, the regulations are designed to keep kids safe.
Sgt. Aaron Ellis said the most common violations near schools are parking in residential areas and blocking mailboxes or driveways.
"People think, 'I'm just going to be here for a minute,'" Ellis said. "But it's really frustrating for residents."
Blocking a driveway means the people who live there either can't get out of their driveway or can't see around the parked cars to safely enter traffic.
If a mailbox is blocked, the post office will not deliver the mail.
Each school has a drop-off and and pick-up system, and if parents would follow those systems, it would be easier for everybody, Ellis said.
The most egregious -- or rather the most dangerous -- violation is not stopping for a school bus with its arm extended, Ellis said.
"It happens a lot more than you think," Ellis said. "Traffic going in both directions has to stop."
State statutes allow school bus drivers and crossing guards to file complaints against drivers, Ellis explained. It a school bus driver or a crossing guard gets your license plate number, you will get a ticket, he said.
- Crossing guards have the authority to stop traffic at marked school crossings. Failure to obey a school crossing guard could result in a traffic ticket of $188.
- School safety patrols are organized by schools and run by students. Their job is to help younger students get across the street safety at busy locations closer to the school. The Janesville Police Department asks motorists to be "courteous and patient" with both safety patrols and crossing guards.
- Within 15 feet of an intersection or crosswalk.
- Within four feet of a driveway or withing five feet of a curbside mailbox.
- In bus loading zones, where the curb is painted yellow or where a sign designates no parking.
- In school parking lots, unless authorized.
Fines for failing to follow the rules run from $188 to $390 for speeding to $327 for failure to stop for a school bus.