School zones are often full of the most precious people: children. While they are asked by teachers and parents to follow the rules — only walk when they are told and to stay out of the street — there are some that simply don’t follow the rules. This is why it’s important that every driver knows and understands how to stay safe in a school zone. The following are five tips for keeping everyone as safe as possible.
- Stop Behind a Bus
In every state in the nation, it’s illegal to pass a school bus with an extended stop sign and that is actively loading or unloading children, but there are people who still do it. If you approach a stopped school bus with an extended stop sign, stop! It’s a simple rule to follow, and one that will save lives and prevent injury.
- Stop Before the Crosswalk
Have you ever seen a car stop in the crosswalk? It creates a danger for anyone who needs to use the crosswalk. It’s important you stop at the white line that comes before the crosswalk so you can keep people safe. If you have stopped, looked both ways, and there are no children walking, you can cautiously proceed.
- Slow Down
Most school zones will have flashing lights indicating your responsibility to slow down to a lesser speed. Even if you don’t see any flashing lights, but you notice there are children and you’re near a school, do the responsible thing and slow your speed anyway. Kids dart out between cars and all sorts of other things, and if you’re driving slowly enough, you could avoid hitting and injuring them.
- Obey the Crossing Guard
A crossing guard has the responsibility to make sure children get across the street safely. If a crossing guard stays in the crosswalk longer than you feel he or she needs to, there’s probably a reason for it and you should just remain stopped. Show a crossing guard the proper respect and remain calm while he or she is doing their job.
- Remove Distractions
This should go for any time you are behind the wheel, but particularly when children at a school are involved. Keep your phone off, leave your breakfast at home, and ignore the kids in the back seat until you are at a point where you can safely pull over, park the car, and deal with what’s going on.
Contacting a Lawyer for Help
If you or someone you love was injured in a school zone, you deserve compensation. Contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Darrell Castle & Associates, for help in getting the case started.