Back to School: Understanding Traffic Laws in School Zones
The safety of our children must always be a top priority in everything that we do. Not only are children our most precious assets, but they also rely on responsible adults, who know better than they do, to fully enjoy the fun and relaxation of being young.
Traffic safety is always a concern as it relates to the safety of our children, especially considering that one slip-up can cause irreparable harm at any time. That’s one reason why traffic laws in schools are taken so seriously – with the influx of children in these areas, the risk of an accident is definitely heightened.
The Dangers of a School Zone
Although the number of children who walk to school has severely decreased in the past few decades according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the possibility of injury is still very relevant. As reported by the Transportation Research Board, approximately 25,000 kids are injured in school zone accidents in any given year. Just as alarming is the fact that adult pedestrians in school zones are even more likely to be injured. Although accidents involving children in school zones have been seeing small decreases in the past few years, the number of deaths has increased – most likely due to the electronic devices that kids, and drivers, are using in school zones, instead of paying attention to their surroundings.
Identifying School Zones
As a driver, it is your responsibility to always be aware of your surroundings and that includes paying attention to any and all signs on the roadway. School zones are always clearly marked by recognizable signs, so as long as you’re not distracted, it should be easy to identify these areas. Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that children who are walking to school will walk part of the way outside of a school zone, so be sure that you are always on the lookout for children, especially when you’re driving through a neighborhood that is in close proximity to a school.
Driving Safely in School Zones
As briefly discussed above, the first thing you can do to ensure the safety of children in school zones is to pay attention to your surroundings, especially in terms of signage. From there, what you’ll need to do is obey the speed limit reduction and proceed with caution. Keep a close eye on both the road and any children near your vehicle, especially since kids can sometimes dart out from a crowd and into the street at any moment. The other thing you want to do is follow a crossing guard’s instructions to the letter. Don’t try to rush through as soon as his or her sign is down. If you are in that much of a hurry every morning or afternoon, it’s probably best you avoid these school zones during the expected time of children walking to and from school.
Hefty Fines for Speeding
Nobody wants to pay a speeding ticket, especially in school zones where fines are typically doubled. In fact, depending on the circumstances and location, Colorado drivers could find themselves paying as much as $250 for speeding in a school zone. Plus, you could be subject to hefty fines for breaking other traffic laws in a school zone as well. This is just another reason why it’s always best to control your speed, watch the road, and exercise special caution when children are present.
Thanks to traffic laws in our nation’s school zones, the chances of a child being hurt are decreased. Unfortunately, accidents can happen and when they do, it’s important to have proper representation. The attorneys at Mintz Law Firm have handled countless traffic injury cases over the years and we can assist you with getting the compensation you deserve. Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation and we’ll take it from there.