LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 320,000 kids will be heading to schools across the valley Monday in cars, buses or walking with dangers on nearly every block.
Officials like Andres Bennett, Nevada Office of Traffic Safety, said every year kids are hit by cars heading to or leaving school, and the dangers are more apparent at the beginning of the school year when people haven't seen an active school zone in three months.
"School starts, it's nothing new," Bennett said, "we go through this every single year."
Bennett said the Nevada Office of Traffic safety has given extra funds to 26 police departments across the state for officer overtime pay so police can monitor school zones.
"Just one is too many," he said, "these are 100% preventable."
Fines for traffic offenses in school zones are doubled.
Bennett said drivers should remember that school zones are active for 30 minutes before and after school, speed limits will be dropped at that time, u-turns will be illegal, and, whether you're in a school zone or not, it's illegal to pass a school bus when it's stopped.
Safe Kids at Sunrise Hospital Director Jeanna Marsala said parents knowing the rules and safety measures on the first day of school isn't enough.
"When you go out there it's chaotic," she said.
Marsala said kids need to know and respect the rules to ensure they make it to class safely.
"If 19,000 kids a year are being hit in and around a school," she said, "we need to see this as a top priority."
Marsala said kids can handle a simple conversation about safe travel, and teens need to be reminded to look up while they're on the move.
"We're finding that teenagers are very distracted by their cellphones," Marsala said, "they're not paying attention."