TUCSON, Ariz. - Students all across southern Arizona are either heading back to the classroom in the next few weeks or have already done so, prompting law enforcement officials and school staff to remind drivers about school zones.
School zones are "temporary traffic control zones" that are meant to slow drivers down in an attempt to keep students as safe as possible, according to Tucson Police Department Sergeant Matt Alexander.
At the Vail School District students began the school year a few weeks ago. Jerry Brown, the Director of Transportation for the district, said since the start of the school year it has taken parents and drivers in the area some time to adjust to school zones.
Brown added that year after year school staff continue seeing the same issues with drivers in school zones.
"You'll see distracted drivers, you'll see drivers that are sometimes even careless and reckless," said Brown.
Despite those issues, he said there is one problem that everyone is always watching out for.
"The biggest thing is driver's speeding, that's historically been the biggest problem," Brown said.
Brown added the busiest crosswalks for some of the Vail School District schools do have crossing guards helping students safely navigate through. Those crossing guards are equipped with stop paddles and bright-colored vests so drivers can easily see them.
He said that while crossing guards help make school zones much safer, he finds they themselves feel safer when they have officers nearby.
"It's incredibly helpful, in fact, it's so helpful that most crosswalk guards want them there almost everyday," said Brown.
While Vail School District schools have already gone back into session, many other schools across southern Arizona are getting ready to do the same.
Bisbee Unified School District students head back this week while Flowing Wells, Sahuarita, Douglas, Marana, Sunnyside, TUSD, Tanque Verde, Nogales, Catalina and Amphitheater District schools head back next week.