What Are the Top School Zone Safety Tips?
As most drivers know, school zones have their own set of laws and safety rules. If it’s been a long time since you had a driver’s education class, review the top school zone safety tips below to keep you and the school children safe.
- Slow Down. School speed limits are usually 5-10 mph slower than the posted speed limit. Make sure to know and obey the speed limit. If caught speeding in a school zone, the fines can be greater than a normal ticket.
- Stop for School Buses. When you see the flashing lights and extended “stop” sign from a school bus, you must stop. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a stopped school bus that is loading/unloading children.
- Don’t Block Crosswalks. Be conscious about stopping in the crosswalk when at a red light or when waiting to take a turn while driving in a school zone. Your car’s presence could force the children out of the crosswalk and into traffic.
- Obey the Crossing Guard, Police Officer. Crossing guards and police officers are used to directing traffic in areas where children are most at risk. The crossing guard can only keep the children safe if drivers respect and obey the crossing guard’s instructions.
- Look for Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB). You’ve probably seen these before, they are the yellow rectangles turned at an angle to make a diamond, with a black figure in the walk position. Under the yellow sign, lights flash to indicate that a pedestrian is currently in or is about to enter the crosswalk. Below the flashing lights, an arrow indicates the crosswalk. These signs are often used in areas with high volumes of both vehicle and pedestrian traffic, including school zones.
- Avoid Distractions. Do not talk on the phone, text, eat, put on make-up, etc. School zones demand a driver’s undivided attention.
- Be Alert. Children can be unpredictable, they might dart into the road chasing a friend or a ball, take it slow and pay close attention to the pedestrians.
- Re-route your commute. If you are in a hurry or have no patience for school zones, then adjust your route to avoid them. This will benefit both you and the children walking to school.
If you or your child has been injured by a car in a school zone, consult with a car accident lawyer to see what your options are. Contact a law firm for a free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.