POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — As students got their syllabus and homework on the first day of school, drivers outside got their own kind of handouts.

“You’re going 30 in a school zone, speed limit’s 15,” a Lakeland police officer told a speeding driver. “If it was a citation it would have been $404, OK?”

Lakeland police officers were in school zones — radar equipment in hand — catching speeders and handing out warnings.

“For the first two weeks, we actually go out there to re-educate the public to let them know — hey, the schools are back in session, pay attention to buses, pay attention to crosswalks because now the students are back in and they get the right-of-way,” said Lakeland Police Sgt. Douglass Mills.

Sgt. Mills says fines for speeding are increased inside school zones.

“Pay attention to those flashing lights because those speeds are going to be reduced by a significant amount and if you get caught speeding in those, the speeding fines are now doubled,” said Sgt. Mills.

Handheld devices are also not allowed behind the wheel in school zones.

“We would like to say that the word of the day is patience,” said Alicia Manautou, public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies, school resource officers and crossing guards with the sheriff’s office were out and about too, helping to get children safely to school.

The sheriff’s office reminds drivers to stop for stopped buses, even if they are on the other side of the road and there is no grass or raised median in-between.

“Even if it is a road that has what you think is a median, but it’s not a raised median, if it’s paved across that road with turn lanes, both sides, both directions need to stop,” said Manautou.

Penalties doubled to at least $200 last year for illegally passing a school bus on the first offense.

Polk County Fire Rescue members were also out Wednesday, holding signs to remind people to slow down.

“We want to keep the kids safe. That’s our main priority, and also reducing the amount of stress on the first responders that are having to work this type of accident when it comes to school zones,” said Katelyn Hoverkamp, public information officer for Polk County Fire Rescue.