KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The first day of school in Kanawha County is Monday, Aug. 21, and first responders are making sure students return to the classroom safely.

The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office says it will have extra patrols next week in school zones and will strictly enforce traffic laws such as violations for speeding in a school zone and driving around a school bus when its stopped.

The sheriff’s office says the fines and penalties for these violations are stiff, but that’s not the only thing people should worry about. The children’s safety is also a top priority.

“I cannot imagine losing my child or grandchild to someone who was not paying attention and speeding or driving past a school bus,” said Kanawha County Sheriff Mike Rutherford. “It would be one of the most horrible things that anyone could imagine is losing a loved one like that. And we want the kids to be here and have long, happy, successful lives.”

A fine for speeding in a school zone can cost up to $500 dollars.