Back to School Traffic Tips

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BAY COUNTY-- Back to school season means back to school traffic. And Tuesday the roads were lined with buses and carpools, and law enforcement.

With 124 buses back on local roads this week, law enforcement wants to make sure students, and drivers are staying safe.

Remember, when a school bus flashes red lights on a road that does not have a median, traffic on both sides must stop and wait until the bus leaves.

If there is a median, only vehicles on the same side of the road must stop.

"People just need to be real cautious about the traffic situation and take more time and think," Bay County Sheriff's Deputy Paul Vecker said. "Once again, law enforcement wants to make sure people arrive alive and not get injured. That's very, very important"

Panama City Beach Police officers are also working as crossing guards at five beach-side schools during the school year.

PCBPD Chief Drew Whitman said officers were out in full force Tuesday morning. At least 10 of them were stationed at each elementary school.

He'll reduce that number to two or three officers at each school daily after the first week , once parents and students get used to their back-to-school schedules.

"The first three days you see a lot [of traffic], because the kids don't know what buses they're supposed to be riding," Whitman said. "The parents are excited and want to drive them to school. The kids want to be driven the first day. They've got their new outfits on and want to show them off. So the first three days there's a lot of traffic, but then you see them settle in and there's a drop in traffic."

Remember, the speed limit drops to 20 miles per hour in school zones when the yellow lights flash.

Going 35 in a school zone can land you a ticket costing upwards of $350.