Drivers must observe extra caution when traveling in school zones because children are often not careful. Kids can behave unpredictably, even when they know the rules. Because they cannot always be responsible for themselves, it falls to the adults around them to take extra care. That includes drivers, parents, teachers, crossing guards, and anyone else who works around them.
Safety Tips for Drivers
City planners know that having children running around presents a potentially dangerous situation. That’s why municipal governments typically set slower speed limits around school zones and post signs alerting drivers to the presence of children. One of the most important things that drivers can do in school zones is obey these signs and reduce their speed.
By the way, it is not only the signs that are posted that drivers should obey. It is both illegal and dangerous to pass a school bus that has stopped. This is true regardless of whether you are meeting the bus or traveling behind it. Modern buses typically have a stop sign on a swinging arm that deploys when the bus has stopped. Even if it doesn’t, however, the law against passing the bus applies just the same.
Because children’s behavior can be unpredictable, it is also crucial for drivers to stay alert and mindful while traveling in a school zone. They should avoid cell phone use and any other potential distractions. Drivers should also be aware of the blind spots formed by the windshield corner posts. These blind spots can obscure pedestrians, especially children who are smaller than adults.
Safety Tips for Parents to Teach Kids
Adults should be aware that children do not always observe safety rules, but parents and teachers should still attempt to teach these to children. Kids should learn to stay on the sidewalk and to walk facing traffic when none are available. They should learn to stop and look left-right-left before crossing the street and to obey stop signs and traffic lights.
Crossing the street can be intimidating for kids. They may try to get it over with more quickly by running across. While they may think that running reduces the danger, it actually increases it because running makes it more likely for kids to trip and fall. When one kid in the group takes off, the others may follow even when they know better. Parents and teachers should emphasize the importance of walking across the street rather than running and explain why.
Most drivers are conscientious around school zones, but it only takes one who is careless to result in a tragic accident. Contact an attorney, like a workers’ compensation attorney from Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, P.C., to discuss legal options if a family member was injured in a school zone.