PORTLAND Kids will be returning to school as soon as Tuesday throughout the Portland Metro area and authorities said drivers should be prepared for traffic jams and heavy patrols, too.

Streets will be transformed into school zones for the first time in months and police will be making sure drivers obey the traffic laws.

Beaverton's Vose Elementary School on Denny Road has traditionally been one of the worst traffic bottleneck locations in the metro area. It will be patrolled all week, along with the area around Jesuit High School along the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway.

The speed limit in all school zones will drop to a strict 20 miles per hour and the familiar street signs will start flashing Tuesday morning and afternoon.

Authorities said that it's easy to forget about the rules over summer break, but that's exactly why extra traffic officers will be in position in many communities.

Speeding in a school zone carries a $400 fine.

Officers said the most common violations they see involve traffic around school buses.

The law requires that if there's a school bus that's stopped, even if you're on a four-lane roadway, and there's not a physical divider between your lane and the school bus, you're required to come to a full stop once that stop sign is out, explained officer Mike Rowe, a spokesman for the Beaverton Police Dept.

He also wanted to remind parents to hold their child's hand in the parking lot and at the bus stop. That's because many excited kids tend to dart out in front of cars or out of crosswalks.

Students will be returning to class on Tuesday in the following local school districts: Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Tigard-Tualatin, North Clackamas, West Linn-Wilsonville and Salem's 6th and 9th graders.

Wednesday will mark the start of school for these districts: Portland, Evergreen and Vancouver, along with the rest of the Salem students.

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