HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Summer vacation is drawing to a close and back to school means more people on the roads in the morning and afternoon.
In the first few weeks, troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said you should expect traffic to be shaky for everyone, with things like longer lines at stop lights and stop signs. Troopers said there is zero tolerance for anyone speeding through school zones. That goes for the parents as well.
For teachers and administrators, it's one of their main concerns.
After children have a few months off, it could be easy for drivers to forget about all the school zones and bus stops.
"First of all we need to remind everybody that it is a school zone. Sometimes we get comfortable, we get in a hurry just to remind everybody to slow down. Please be patient," said Carolina Forest Elementary Principal Dennis J. Devorick.
Administrators and troopers said not knowing where the school zones are is not an excuse. If you can miss flashing lights or what your speed should be, you can miss a child running out in traffic.
The best piece of advice - leave home earlier to avoid having to rush. Also, even if you don't have a student returning to class next week, you need to prepare for bus stops. One of the biggest problems is not knowing what to do when you get behind a school bus, which can cause accidents and back ups.
So here's a reminder for you:
Troopers said you always have to stop when you're traveling behind a bus with flashing lights. Even if you're coming from the opposite direction, drivers must stop if it is a two-lane road.
Troopers say if you drive past a school bus stop sign, a ticket could cost you more than $1,000.
As for parents - get your students to the bus stop early and talk to them about safety, like standing away from the curb. You also need to take your time and take precautions to be sure your kids are on the right bus.
"It's their children that it's affecting, so just slow down and be patient to keep our kids safe. We want to make sure that nobody gets hurt," Devorick said.
A helpful tool - Horry County has a map online to highlight bus routes to find out where a bus is stopping. It's also a helpful tool for drivers who want to avoid bus routes.