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In most states it's illegal to pass in a school zone when children are present

school bus (select to view enlarged photo)

ALBUQUERQUE, NM--Sept. 23, 2013: Take a minute to read these reminders about school zone safety. It is illegal in New Mexico to pass a school bus that is loading or unloading children on any street. The only exception to this rule is when you are traveling on a divided roadway.

The 10 feet surrounding a school bus is considered the most dangerous area for children. Try to allow at least 15 feet for extra safety. Pay attention to all flashing lights and signs on buses. Fines in school zones are usually more and points are typically deducted. You have to be aware at all times and pay attention to street sign markers and school zone crossing guards.

Remember, Albuquerque and Santa Fe have laws against using a cell phone while driving. That would include texting. Texting while driving has been shown to distract a driver as much as a person with a .08 blood alcohol level. Don't forget to always watch for children in crosswalk areas. 6-9am and 3-5pm can be particularly dangerous times.