Driving in School Zones

School is back in session. Most drivers tend to dread this time because it means that school buses may begin to clog up their morning commute. However, it is a big responsibility to make sure you’re aware and alert of school buses, school zones, and children when driving. Here are some helpful tips that will either help or refresh your knowledge!

  • Know when you’re in a school zone
    • In the morning, it is easy to overlook certain road signs that you may not find essential in your commute. It is also easy to become more distracted in the morning too due to a general increase in cell phone activity among the population. Most school zones now are equipped with flashing lights and more noticeable signs to warn drivers that children are in the area.
  • Reduce Speed in School Zones
    • Most School Zone signs now have a speed limit on them as well. Not only that, but now schools have upped their safety game by including speedbumps, rumble strips, and additional safety signs in the proximity of the school zone. This is done so that drivers aren’t slamming on their breaks in a school zone, but instead make a nice transition to a slower speed in order to increase safety.
      • Additionally, fines are always much higher in a school zone and the police will not hesitate to catch you for speeding.
    • Expect More Traffic
      • If you drive through or near a school zone, then your commute is going to be longer due to an increase pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Plan on leaving a few minutes earlier in the morning to compensate for the expected increase in traffic. Crossing guards and lights are meant to favor students over motorists. Not just walking students, but buses and parents dropping off their children are also going to slow down your route. Bring some coffee along on your commute, leave a little earlier, and relax.
    • Be on the Lookout for Buses
      • Even if you’re not necessarily driving through a school zone, you may find yourself driving near residential areas that have bus stops. It is very important to know the laws regarding school buses and when to stop. Unless there is a physical barrier separating the lanes between you and the school bus, then you must stop. Not stopping for a school bus is a very severe fine, often double or even tripled the normal amount. Additionally, it can be up to five points on your driver’s license. When in doubt, if you see a bus, slow down and be prepared to stop. You will potentially save the lives of children, and save yourself a hefty fine.

You should always be aware of your surroundings when driving, especially when driving in a school zone. If you have any questions regarding driving in school zones or where to bring your car after an accident, please call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

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