School zones are designed to ensure the safety of children around schools. Children should be able to go to travel to school without fearing being hit by a vehicle. Drivers are responsible for being aware of the streets that are around schools and being extra cautious in these areas. Even when school is not in session, drivers should still adhere to school zone rules since these areas usually have children in them before and after school hours. These are some tips you should keep in mind when approaching a school zone.
You should always pay attention to every sign you come across as you drive but especially to school zone signs. The main rule you should remember when driving near school zones is to be aware of them and recognize when you are about to enter one. All school zones are marked with warning signs that sometimes accompany speed bumps or flashing lights. Keep your eyes on the road at all times so that you do not miss these signs.
A reduced speed limit sign often follows warning signs in a school zone. You need to be aware of this and begin to lower your speed before you enter the school zone so that you are not forced to slam on your brakes. A slower speed means an increased reaction time for unpredictable children and distractions.
Expect More Traffic
Prepare to have to deal with more traffic just before and after school. These are the times when buses and parents will be dropping kids off and picking them up, which can get quite hectic. Drive carefully and slowly so that both students and guardians stay safe.
Expect More Crosswalks
There will likely be more crosswalks in school zones to give students and parents more points of access to the school. These crosswalks are usually marked with a sign and have a series of white lines parallel to each other across one side of the road to the other. You must always yield to pedestrians - even if they are not using the marked crosswalks.
Look Out for Buses
It can be difficult for buses to navigate busy school zones with increased traffic in the morning and afternoon. Always yield to school buses and stop when their stop sign is in use. Traffic headed in either direction must come to a complete stop when approaching a school bus with its stop sign out. Even when you are not in a school zone, watch out for children waiting for their bus or getting off of it.
Obey Traffic Officers and Crossing Guards
Crossing guards often help patrol traffic in busy school zones. They have the authority to stop traffic and can override traffic signals that normally control the area. Always watch for their signals over a traffic light in these areas. Police officers may station their cars near school zones as an extra precaution.
If you want to make sure you and your family members learn the right driving practices around school zones, contact DriverZed. Our experienced driving instructors will ensure you develop the safest driving habits.