With the beginning of a new school year approaching, officers with the Pocatello Police Department want to remind motorists to slow down near schools and watch for pedestrians.
The maximum speed limit in school zones is 20 miles per hour and motorists are asked to watch for children as well as anticipate that there will be pedestrians in crosswalks near schools. Drivers must stop for pedestrians crossing the roadway within a crosswalk.
Pedestrians must cross in marked crosswalks and cannot leave a curb or other place of safety until it is safe to do so. If there is not a marked crosswalk at an intersection, then pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles.
Officers are also reminding residents about the proper procedure for overtaking and passing a school bus. According to Idaho Code, “The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped on the highway shall stop before reaching the school bus” when the visual signals are in operation like, flashing lights or an extended stop sign. Additionally, “the driver of a vehicle shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer actuated” and “oncoming traffic on a highway of more than three (3) lanes is not required to stop upon meeting a school bus when visual signals are actuated.”
Officers would like to reiterate that drivers should not use their phones while driving especially in school zones.
With many children riding bicycles to school, best practices say if a driver is turning right and a bicyclist is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signal.
The Pocatello Police Department will enforce school zone, school bus and crosswalk violations in order to protect the lives of our citizens.