School is back in session for the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) and that means children are walking to and from home to bus stops, and buses are stopped to pick up children. About a dozen of the stops are on Highway 89 in Chino Valley and Paulden. The speed limit on the highway in Chino Valley is 45 mph and on the highway in Paulden, it's 65 mph. This is a very scary situation for everyone involved, and steep traffic fines for drivers who don't obey laws regarding stopping for school buses.
Drivers going BOTH DIRECTIONS on Highway 89 must stop for a school bus stopped with its lights flashing and its stop sign displayed. Only a highway with a physical barrier requires only one side of traffic to stop.
Inside Chino Valley town limits, the Chino Valley Police Department (CVPD) has jurisdiction to issue citations for failure to stop for a school, and in the Paulden area, which is in Yavapai County, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office has authority to cite drivers.
The fines for failing to stop are $250 plus court costs and fees on a first offense; $750 on a second violation within 36 months plus no more than a six-month supspension of the driver license; and $1,000 on a third offense within 36 months, plus a license suspension of six months to one year.
CVPD Assistant Police Chief Dave Kuns said patrolling the highway during school hours is a priority.
CVUSD Transportation Director Jeff Lambert says many people live along the highway and a bus stop is the safest for the children.
Drivers: Please be alert now that school is in session, for our children's sake. Stop both ways when driving on Highway 89 for school buses picking up this precious cargo.