FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Though yellow buses and backpack-toting students are synonymous with the start of the school year so is traffic. Over the next few weeks, thousands of students and teachers are heading back to school-- which means back to the routine. Or for parents like Merna White, getting a head start to beat traffic.
"Routine in the morning is we get up a little earlier than usual, get him to school, then I get back and finish getting ready for work."
Getting in early also means getting out early.
"Getting out is usually a trick because you have a lot of people making illegal u-turns," said White.
Parents like Jodi Ann Farias choose the divide and conquer method.
"I have my dad helping me with one transport, my husband doing one, and me doing one-- so we kinda split it all up."
Fresno police officers patrolled as almost two dozen campuses on the west side of Fresno, and in Fresno County, opened their classrooms to more than 16,000 students.
"It's going to be a busy two weeks. We're going to do the best we can with the resources we have to make it safe for these kids to get to school," said Sgt Gary Beer, Fresno Police Department.
As for the most common citeable offense this time of year-- speeding in a school zone.
"You'll probably, around the grammar schools, see more bicycles, skateboards, or scooters coming to school. Watch out for kids running through or ducking between cars and running across the crosswalks. Just slow down," said Beer.
It's not just citations that make sure everyone is on their best behavior, officers act as a visual deterrent as well.
"It's funny-- you can see the car dip down when they see me and I didn't even have a radar gun out," said Beer.
He adds, idling and double parking are also common this time of year.
"We're just asking for you guys to have plans get your kids to school safely. If you are going to walk them up to the class then find a parking space."
In addition to the neighborhood school resource program nightside officers will spend the next two weeks on day shift to patrol for after school pick up.