As children return to school, it is worth the time to review basic school zone safety tips to avoid accidents that can harm our children. School traffic can frustrate even the calmest driver. Parents trying to get their kids to and from school, slow school buses, and crossing guards slow everyone down during school hours. However, we must all worth together to keep our children safe as they travel to and from school.

School Zone Speed Limits

You must slow down when approaching a school zone. California’s Vehicle Code limits speed within 500 feet of a school to a maximum of 25 miles per hour, unless otherwise posted. Some school zones may have a lower speed limit; therefore, be cautious when approaching in school. In adverse weather conditions, drivers should drive even slower in a school zone to allow for addition time to stop if necessary to avoid a vehicle crash or pedestrian accident.

Violating the speed limit in a school zone is a traffic offense. You can be charged a fine of up to $350 depending on your speed. However, the cost of a speeding ticket in a school zone is much higher when you add the fees and costs imposed by the courts.

The penalty for passing a stopped school bus is even higher. CVC §22454 requires drivers in both directions stop when a school bus has its lights flashing until the lights and signs are disengaged after the child have safely crossed the street.  If you fail to stop for a school bus, you can be fined up to $1,000 and lose your driving privileges for a year.

The exception is a school bus stopped on the other side of a divided or multilane highway. Oncoming traffic in the lanes opposite the school bus does not need to stop. However, drivers should slow down and remain cautious because children are unpredictable. A child could dart out into traffic with a second.

Protect Children In School Zones, Playground Areas, Sidewalks, Front Yards, and Crosswalks!

Back To School Safety Trips for Drivers

Whether you are taking your child to school or you are driving through a school zone, all drivers need to keep these school zone safety tips in mind:

  • Always remain focused on the road and watch for children
  • Never speed – being slowing down when approaching a school zone or any area where child may be outside
  • Do not load or unload your children from across the street
  • Do not double park or block visibility for other drivers and pedestrians
  • Do not block crosswalks and always watch for instructions from crossing guards
  • Never pass a stopped vehicle in school zones or at crosswalks
  • Stop far enough back from a school bus to see all around the school bus
  • Watch out for children on bicycles
  • Eliminate distractions – do not use your cell phone, other electronic device, eat, groom, or adjust vehicle controls when approaching and driving in a school zone

Parents should discuss how to drive safely in school zones and in other areas where children gather with their teen drivers. Teen drivers tend to dismiss the dangers associated with driving situations. Make sure your teen driver understands the danger of driving in a school zone.

My Child Was Injured By A Driver, What Should I Do?

If your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident or a bicycle crash in Fresno, CA or the surrounding Central California Valley area we can help. After taking care of your child’s medical and emotional needs, contact Torem & Associates by calling 1-800-954-4444 or using our convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our Fresno personal injury lawyers.