Speeding through a school zone is never a good idea, and the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) for the next two weeks will making an effort to remind drivers that the school year has started.

Through Sept. 9, the GPD will be conducting an intensive initiative, “Operation School Watch,” in and around school zones, in order to help ensure the safety of students and faculty as they start the new school year.

The Special Operations Division Traffic Safety Unit will be aided by other GPD officers in conducting enhanced enforcement in school zones throughout the city.

GPD officers will be using marked as well as unmarked vehicles, police motorcycles and other strategies to detect violations in school zones.  Officers will also be following school bus routes watching for motorists who fail to stop for stopped school buses displaying their flashing red lights and stop arms.

During Operation School Watch, GPD officers will be concentrating on traffic violations that include speeding in school zones, seatbelt usage, pedestrian school crosswalk violations, graduating driving violations as well as school bus stop arm violations.

Officers will also be observing the driving habits of students and looking for violations that would put students at risk such as seatbelt violations.

The GPD is also using electronic portable message boards that were deployed on Tuesday, Aug. 16 throughout school zones reminding drivers of the opening of school.

In order to avoid an unpleasant and often expensive interaction with an officer, the GPD is advising motorists to leave a little early to allow additional time for their morning and afternoon commutes and to make special note of any school zones along their routes.

Enforcement of traffic violations in the areas near schools doesn’t end with the close of Operation School Watch on Sept. 9.  According to the GPD, motorists should expect to see an increased presence of officers in and around schools throughout the school year.