If you drive by Forestville School on Highway 116, watch out for extra traffic and pedestrians. If you don’t, the CHP will be there to ensure you do.

There’s construction starting at the school, and that’s changing how many students get to school. A sidewalk along 116 from Covey Road to the school will be closed, and that’s expected to mean more congestion in front of the school in the morning and afternoons.

The CHP, starting Tuesday, plans to assign at least one officer to watch for traffic violations there before school starts and when it ends each day, said Officer Jon Sloat, the spokesman for the Sonoma County office.

He said the officer will be looking for right-of-way violations, speeding, distracted drivers and pedestrian violations.

Drivers should particularly be alert for students walking to the school and should heed the 25-mph limit in front of the school.

Construction is expected to last for several weeks, and Sloat said how long the CHP will be there will depend on how severe traffic problems become.

He noted it’s common now for officers to park near the school at 116 and Packing House Road to watch for speeders. He said the officers are focusing on southbound drivers who, while still in the 25-mph zone, begin picking up speed in anticipation of the higher speed zone just down 116. He said many people mistakenly believe the officers are focused on northbound drivers who have to slow to 25.

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