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Tips for safe driving in school zones

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2023 | Personal Injury

When driving in and around school zones, it is important to prioritize safety for the young pedestrians present. This is especially true when students first go back to school and drivers adjust to a new schedule.

Learning more about school zone rules during the start of a school year can help you and other community members safeguard these children.

Follow the speed limits

One of the most important rules in school zones is to follow any posted speed limits. For the 128,961 K-12 schools in the United States, reduced speed limits during school hours provide a safer environment for students and pedestrians. Keep an eye out for signs indicating the speed limit and make sure to slow down accordingly.

Always stop for school buses

When a school bus stops and extends its stop sign, all traffic from both directions must obey. This protocol provides a secure environment for students to embark or disembark from the bus. It is crucial to exercise patience and remain stationary until the bus has retracted its stop sign and is back in motion before resuming your own journey.

Yield to people walking

Be sure to stop and yield to people in crosswalks when they are crossing the street. If a crossing guard is present, follow their signals. Sometimes drivers are tempted to “sneaky through” crosswalks, but this is dangerous and irresponsible.

Do not overtake other vehicles

Passing other vehicles is typically not allowed in school zones, and for good reason. Overtaking poses a significant hazard to pedestrians and can introduce ambiguity into the traffic flow. By halting for school buses, yielding to pedestrians and refraining from overtaking, you can contribute to the safeguarding of students.

Follow rules for pick-up and drop-off times

If you are dropping off or picking up your student, follow the designated areas and guidelines set by the school. These rules are there to maintain a smooth flow of traffic and ensure the safety of all students.

Expect additional traffic

School zones tend to have more traffic during arrival and dismissal. Allow extra time to account for potential delays around these times. Aggressive and combative driving can lead to accidents and unsafe conditions.

Remember, safely driving in school zones is everyone’s responsibility since these younger pedestrians are diminutive. Students are vulnerable and may not be easily visible in all circumstances.