AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Austin-area children headed back to school Monday, several law enforcement agencies are reminding drivers to pay attention to school zone speed limits and keep an eye out for pedestrians.
Last school year, the most school zone violations were given during the first week of class, according to an analysis of citations provided by Austin Municipal Court.
There were 314 citations handed out when the Austin Independent School District held classes between Aug. 22 and Aug. 26, 2016. Only 286 citations were given the second week of classes last year, including tickets for both speeding and for using a cellular device in a school zone.
A total of 3,407 citations were given during the 2016-2017 school year, according to the data.
Over the last 20 months, nearly 5,000 citations were issued. KXAN analyzed the location of those citations to identify the top five areas where school zone tickets were given to drivers between Jan. 5, 2016 and Aug. 10, 2017:
- Deerpark Middle School and Live Oak Elementary School: 529 tickets given between the 8500 and 9000 blocks of Anderson Mill Road
- Wooten Elementary School: 335 tickets given between the 1200 and 1900 blocks of West Anderson Lane
- Walnut Creek Elementary: 283 tickets given between the 100 and 500 blocks of Braker Lane
- Campbell Elementary School: 271 tickets given between the 2400 and 2800 blocks of East Martin Luther King
- Barrington Elementary School: 203 tickets given between the 100 and 500 blocks of Rundberg
Ahead of classes starting, the Austin Transportation Department said it tested flashing school zone traffic signals last week. The signals will help remind drivers they are in school zones and should look for students walking to school, crossing streets or exiting and entering school buses.
Travis County Constable George Morales and Constable Stacy Suits have also emphasized the importance of drivers making sure everyone is safe on the first day of school and throughout the school year.
“We have laws to protect our children in school zones and we intend to enforce them,” Suits said in a news release “AISD has added cameras to their buses to catch those breaking school bus laws.”
On Sunday night, Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody tweeted a reminder that the sheriff’s office would be out in school zones. If you’re speeding, they will ask you for your signature, and not because they’re fans, Chody tweeted.