Back-to-school countdown: drivers reminded to be careful near school zones

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- As thousands of students in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast prepare to head back to school, local police departments said they would saturate roads near schools with increased patrols to crack down on drivers.

Administrators and educators said one of their biggest worries was inattentive drivers.

Under Florida law, drivers are required to stop when the lights of a school bus flash red or when its stop signs are extended.

First-time offenders may have to pay a fine.

Repeat offenders could lose their license for up to one year.

The speed limit near most schools is 20 mph.

Under Florida law, if a driver is ticketed for driving more than 30 mph in a school zone, a fine of $555.50 may be assessed.

Drivers are urged to watch for crossing guards and children walking to or from school.

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