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Remember These Safety Tips When Driving In School Zones

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It's easier to get stopped for traffic offenses in school zones than it is in other areas. This is because the risk of hitting pedestrians (kids in this instance) is high in school zones. This is why traffic laws in school zones are different from those in other areas. However, the following safety tips should help you cruise through school zones without any problem:

Know When to Stop For a School Bus

Motorists are expected to stop when a school bus is picking up or dropping off school children. You will know that a school bus is doing either of these things when its lights are flashing and its stop arm is raised. Stop a good distance from the bus when you notice either or both of those things. The specific legal language describing this requirement may be different according to different states, but the intention is the same – to make motorists stop when a school bus is dropping off or picking up kids.

Slow Down

School children are not as careful as adults when crossing the road. It's not unusual for school kids to cross the road in un-designated places, play near or on the roads, or cross the road without regard to oncoming cars. Cruising at high speeds makes it difficult to stop and avoid hitting such kids. For this reason, school zones tend to have lower speed limits than other areas. The specific speed limit around school zones vary state by state or zone by zone; for example, most Florida and California school zones have speed limits of 20 mph and 25 mph respectively. The limits will be posted around schools, so stay alert at all times.

Reduce the Risk of Traffic Jams

Traffic jams and snarl-ups make people frustrated, and people do stupid things when they are frustrated, even in school zones. Frustrated drivers are more likely to engage in road rage, start overtaking in dangerous areas, or start overlapping, which could increase the risk of danger to children. Therefore, don't do anything that may increase or contribute to a traffic jam. Here are some things to remember:

  • Don't overtake until you are out of the school zone.
  • Avoid driving in reverse.
  • Avoid U-turns or three point turns.
  • Adhere to "No Parking" or "No Stopping" rules.

If you do get charged with a serious traffic violation, it makes sense to fight the charge by involving a traffic violations attorney. This advice is particularly relevant if you are charged with multiple offenses that can land you in jail.