As masses of children head back to the grind, police are warning motorists to keep an eye out for our young ones.

Hawke's Bay police will be conducting a campaign to enforce speed zones around schools, including a 20km/h speed restriction that applies around school buses when loading and unloading children.

Prevention road police manager Senior Sergeant Stu Fleming said school speed zones were there for good reasons, to help protect "our most vulnerable road users".

"These zones are clearly identified with signs and road markings, so there's no excuse for ignoring them," Mr Fleming said.


He said children were especially vulnerable around moving vehicles and if struck by a vehicle travelling at 50km/h, they have a less than a 50 per cent chance of surviving the impact.

"The last thing any of us wants is to have to deal with the tragedy of a child being killed or seriously injured as they head back to school."

Motorists can expect to see police patrols at schools and at urban and rural bus stops throughout the week, and if caught exceeding the speed limits they should expect to be stopped.

"Also, with children returning to school on Monday and many families getting back into the routine of the school drop-off and pick-up, there is going to be more congestion on the roads in and around schools."

This means sticking to the speed limit, giving cyclists plenty of room and travelling at no more than 20km/h past a stationary school bus was paramount.

"Children can also be unpredictable, so motorists need to be well prepared to stop safely in and around school zones, Mr Fleming said.

Police ask that if parents are able, to walk to school with their kids showing them the safest places to cross roads, reminding them to look left and right, and looking out for cars. Drivers are also reminded to be considerate and sensible by not parking on yellow lines, in bus zones or where it is unsafe to drop children off.