The 2013-2014 school year is underway, with the Marana Unified School District beginning classes on Monday, Aug. 5, and the Amphitheater School District to start classes on Thursday, Aug. 8.

With that, local authorities are reminding motorists to use extra caution while driving, particularly in marked school zones, as more students walking and riding bikes on the streets.

Area police departments are calling for motorists to follow all traffic laws to prevent incidents this school year. This includes not passing school busses displaying the stop sign and flashing red lights. Both directions of travel must stop when a physical median is not present.

Also, motorists should obey the 15-mile-per-hour school zone speed. School zones are generally marked by two signs that begin and end in areas that are high in foot traffic and students crossing the street. No passing is allowed in these zones. A guard will be present to direct traffic when to stop. School crosswalks require drivers to stop at the point a pedestrian enters into the crosswalk. 

Texting and driving should be avoided. 

The Oro Valley and Marana police departments are anticipating a large amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic this year. Motorists are encouraged to start their travel earlier to compensate for the increased congestion. Increased police presence is to be expected in school zones.

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