Van Alstyne police are cautioning those operating motor vehicles to be aware that beginning Monday school zones will be live and active once again.

“We’re starting a new year off for school districts, and we want to remind everyone that school zone speed limits will be enforced,” said Van Alstyne Police Chief Tim Barnes. “We’ll start seeing a lot more children in the mornings and afternoons, so drivers need to start being a lot more cautious in those areas. They won’t be used to seeing those buses and need to be aware that they will be sharing the road with them again.”

The new school year begins on Monday, as do the reduced speed limits during specified times of the day in school zones.

Barnes reminds drivers to be especially cautious around school buses. Drivers are required by law to come to a complete stop while the school bus caution arms are out. That can be a hard lesson to learn.

“We’ve had some incidents in the past wherein some people violated that [law] and almost struck some children,” stated Barnes, emphasizing the need for eyes-up driving. “Just be cautious: we want to have a great year.”

Even without the specter of tragedy involved, violating school zone traffic laws can carry a hefty toll as fines can reach up to $500. This includes speeding and failure to stop for school buses and crosswalks.

Barnes also wants to remind those driving in the Georgetown area to be particularly careful as the traffic situation around Van Alstyne Elementary School can get severely congested. Drivers in that area should keep in mind that during the morning hours no one driving on Newport can make a left turn onto Caruth, which serves as the west entrance to the school.

Drivers should also keep in mind that cell phone use in school zones is prohibited by state law.