BANGOR, Maine — With schools reopening, the Bangor Police Department reminds both drivers and student of some tips to be aware of before and after school.
Drivers should be aware that if they meet or pass a school bus from either direction, whether on a roadway, in a parking area or on school property, they must stop if the bus driver has activated the flashing red lights, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said in a news release issued Monday. Drivers may not continue until the school bus resumes motion or until signaled by the school bus driver that they can proceed.
Edwards said the fine for the first offense of passing a stopped school bus is $250. Furthermore, he said, school bus drivers in Bangor report all such violations to the Police Department for investigation. Registered owners of the vehicles can be held responsible for these violations, even if they were not operating the vehicle at the time the violation occurred.
Also Monday, Edwards said that the speed limit in a school zone is 15 mph during recess, half an hour before and after starting time and half an hour before and after the end of the school day and at any time a school speed limit sign is flashing.
It’s a law worth remembering. Fines for speeding in a school zone range from $228 to $516, depending how fast the motorist was driving over the posted speed limit, Edwards said.
He said city police would beef up speed patrols near all Bangor schools as the new school year gets under way.
Pedestrians, he said, should always use sidewalks where those area available. If no sidewalk exists, pedestrians should walk against traffic and as far to the left in the roadway as possible until a sidewalk becomes available.
Edwards said pedestrians also should use crosswalks, especially at intersections. Pedestrians should never take it for granted that a car or truck will stop because the pedestrian legally has the right of way. Instead, he said, pedestrians should wait at the edge of the crosswalk indicating their intention to use it, wait for vehicles to stop and then carefully proceed.
Students riding their bicycles to school should be especially careful. Bicycles must be operated to the far right of the roadway, following the flow of traffic, and abiding by the rules of traffic, including stopping at stop signs.
Regardless of whether they walk or drive to school, parents and children should allow an extra 15 to 20 minutes to accommodate any unexpected delays they might encounter along the way, Edwards said.