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Many motorists unaware students have returned to school, police say

The final wave of students returned to Clark County Schools this week, but law enforcement officials said many motorists are still unaware children are back in class.

Students began trickling back to schools March 1 starting with younger elementary aged kids after distance learning occurred for almost a year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 22, grades 6, 9 and 12 returned to campus, while the final round of students and grades 7, 8, and 11 returned in a hybrid format Tuesday. Elementary students returned to full five-day a week in person learning Tuesday, as well.

Sgt. Bryan Zink, Clark County School District Police spokesman, said that despite having children back in class in some capacity for over a month, police are still seeing a lot of motorists driving above the posted speed limits in school zones.

“Lots of drivers are speeding,” Zink said. “When they are stopped they say, ‘Kids aren’t even in school.’ They seem very surprised when they are told kids are in school.”

This is despite school zones remaining active at most schools in the county while shut down amid the pandemic, as they were used as food distribution sites.

Zink said while police are seeing school zone infractions at all schools, some are seeing a higher rate of violations than others.

“More elementary than middle and high as more drivers are parents and coming to and through the school zone,” Zink said.

CCSD police did not have a count of citations issued this week. All traffic violations within school zones carry double the fine of those occurring outside of them.

On April 27, area law enforcement agencies are teaming up for a targeted school zone enforcement event to ensure those who still aren’t aware know that class is back in session.

“We plan to do a joint traffic task force with all valley police departments focusing on several schools with about 30 officers,” Zink said. “As always we ask motorists to plan ahead for their morning commute, take their time, don’t drive distracted and pay attention when driving through school zones.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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