FINES of up to $397 await motorists who park illegally at Dubbo schools, where classes for 2013 will begin this week.
Dubbo City Council road safety officer Jayne Bleechmore has spelt out the hefty cost of parking in the wrong place in a school zone.
Ignoring a no stopping sign, parking in a school bus zone, or double parking carries fines of $298.
Motorists who stop in a no parking zone for more than two minutes and move more than three metres away from their vehicle can expect to pay $165.
A whopping $397 fine can be slapped on motorists who park on or near a pedestrian crossing.
"Careless and illegal parking around schools can be dangerous, particularly with increased traffic and pedestrians present," the road safety officer said.
"Be aware of bus zones, no parking and no stopping zones, and remember to scan carefully for little children who may be hidden between parked cars."
Ms Bleechmore is also reminding drivers to stick to the speed limit as the 2012/2013 summer holidays end.
"It's been six weeks since road users have had to remember to slow down and look out for additional traffic and children around schools," she said.
"Forgetfulness and complacency can affect us all after an extended break.
"Motorists and riders should allow for children who may act unpredictably on the road as uncertainty and excitement about the new school year could override otherwise sensible road behaviour."
A 40km/h speed limit in school zones is enforceable on school days from 8am to 9.30am and from 2.30pm to 4pm.
But Ms Bleechmore said some schools had variable enforcement times requiring motorists to take notice of signage.
"For example, the speed zone at Dubbo's Mian School is enforced from 8am to 9.30am and from 1pm to 2.30pm," she said.
Ms Bleechmore advised that most schools in the city would re-open tomorrow.