Keeping children safe is one of our most important priorities as a society. That is why it is so important to practice safe driving at all times, particularly when you are driving through a school zone because there are so many children in the area.
Whether you are a new or experienced driver, it never hurts to review guidance on avoiding accidents in a school zone. If you or someone you love was injured in a school zone car accident, request a free, no obligation consultation today with our Baton Rouge car accident attorneys. We may be able to pursue fair compensation for the damages you suffered.
Reduce Your Speed
School zones have warning signs that indicate the reduced speed limit, which can be as low as 10 to 25 mph. Be aware of school zones on your daily route so you can reduce your speed as you approach.
There tends to be more traffic in school zones, which is another reason you need to slow down. In heavy traffic, vehicles will be moving at a slower speed and stopping frequently. If you are going too fast, you are not only breaking the law, you are increasing the risk of a rear-end crash.
Be aware of drop off and pick-up times, when more vehicles may be in the area and a line of traffic may overflow from the school into the street. Traffic can begin to build up in the hour before scheduled pick-up and drop off times so be prepared if you are traveling through a school zone.
If you are caught traveling 31 mph or more over the speed limit in a school zone in Baton Rouge, a court appearance is required. You will be required to attend an advanced driving school if the ticket is amended to a non-moving offense. You must pay a fine, court costs, judicial building fee and technology fee totaling $215.00.
Look Out for Crosswalks
There are often more pedestrians in a school zone than in other areas you may travel, as students and parents walk to and from school from neighboring houses. Crosswalks are installed to give these pedestrians a safe place to cross the street.
Crosswalks are a series of white lines on the pavement that run parallel to the street, extending from one side to the other. There may be signs, flashing lights or even a crossing guard who stops traffic at the crosswalk.
You must obey the signals given by the crossing guard - these signals override any traffic signals or signs that usually control traffic in the school zone.
You should always look for pedestrians when approaching a crosswalk, and before moving through a stop light or making a turn. According to Louisiana law, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks.
Even if a pedestrian is not in a crosswalk, you need to be cautious to avoid an accident. If the pedestrian is negligent and you hit the person, you might not be held liable. However, there could still be situations when you might be liable for the crash, so it is best to watch for pedestrians and slow down to help avoid a crash.
Stop for Buses
Under state law, vehicles traveling in either direction must stop a minimum of 30 feet from the bus when its red lights are flashing, and children are getting on or off.
If you violate the law and it causes injury to someone, you will be fined between $500 and $1,000 and could have your license suspended for 180 days. If you cause someone to suffer a serious injury, the same penalties apply. A serious injury is one that involves:
- Extreme pain
- Obvious or protracted disfigurement
- Substantial risk of death
- Protracted loss or impairment of the function of an organ, member or mental faculty
Children do not always do the best job exercising caution when getting on or off a school bus, so it is up to drivers to use caution to help prevent an accident.
Contact Simien & Simien for Help
If you or someone you love was injured by a reckless driver in a school zone, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our Baton Rouge car accident attorneys will review your case and inform you of your legal options.
Request a free, no obligation consultation today. We charge no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation for you.