PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — As students are headed back to school, community leaders are asking drivers to be cautious and alert when driving through school zones.

Motorists are being asked to obey speed limits in school zones, be patient behind bus traffic and to stop behind at flashing bus lights.

But as Pennsylvania residents are receiving these back-to-school safety reminders, are they actually following them?

According to data released earlier this month by PA Courts InfoShare, a product of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC), there are two school zone traffic laws that have been been cited more than 25,583 times over the past five years (2018-2022).

16,324 of these violations were for speeding in a school zone and 9,259 of the violations were for overtaking or illegally passing a school bus.

According to Pennsylvania’s Title 75, motorists must stop at least 10 feet being a school bus when the red signal lights are flashing and the side stop signal arms are activated. Drivers must also not pass a speed of 15 miles per hour when passing through a school zone.

Court data shows the highest percentage of these citations were issued in October, at 15%. The next highest month was September (14%), followed by March (11%).

January, February, April and November were all at 10% while May and December were at 9% and 6% respectively. The summer months had the lowest percentage of citations with 2% in June, less than 1 percent in July, and 3% in August.

The counties with the highest percentages of citations for each law were also released.

Speeding in a school zone

  1. Allegheny (19%)
  2. Montgomery (15%)
  3. Chester, Delaware Bucks (all 6%)

Meeting or overtaking a school bus

  1. Montgomery (33%)
  2. Bucks (11%)
  3. Allegheny, Delaware (both 9%)
  4. Northhampton (6%)