Local police monitoring school zones as students return to classrooms

TULSA, Okla. (KOKI) — Now that school is back in session, officers are enforcing school zone safety.

That’s why Tulsa police Mingo Valley Division Traffic Supervisor, Sgt. Brian Collum, wants people to slow down and obey school speed limit signs and traffic rules. If not, it could cost you.

Drivers who are caught speeding in a school zone could get fined up to $500 and/or 30 days in jail.

Besides speeding, Collum says he sees a lot of people passing buses.

“If you pass a school bus while the lights are on and it is picking up and dropping kids off, you can get fined up to $500 and your drivers license will be suspended,” said Collum.

If a bus has its extended ‘Stop’ arm out, you must come to a stop behind the bus, even if you’re on the opposite side of the road.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation Spokeswoman, Kenna Mitchell, says, “There are also school zones that are on highways. McClain is on State Highway 11. So again, these school zones can be anywhere.”

Collum says most of the time drivers are distracted. He says he has pulled over people who were eating food while driving, applying makeup, and even changing diapers.

Collum, who focuses on traffic enforcement and collisions, says last year the department gave out over a thousand citations to reckless drivers.

“Pay attention when you are driving, stay off your phone and be aware of your surroundings. Right now, especially during the pandemic, we have seen a lot more road rage, speeding, and people not caring for anyone else,” said Collum.