School has resumed: school speed limits are in effect
School has begun this year with in-class learning after a year of hybrid learning. Thus, school speed limits are in effect on school days. Some of our school speed zones are controlled by flashing beacons that mandate the school speed limit “WHEN FLASHING” rather than specific times. Whenever the beacons are flashing, the school speed limit is in effect, even in evenings for school events. Furthermore, speeding fines are doubled if convicted of violating a school speed limit.
Another issue to be aware of as school resumes this fall is that in many schools, start times may be staggered to allow for fewer students on school buses and in classrooms. Thus, students may be going to school at different times and the same for going home after school. Drivers are likely to see students earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon than they may be used to.
Drivers need to be aware of stopped school buses and obey the NO PASSING A STOPPED SCHOOL BUS WHEN LIGHTS ARE FLASHING law. Incredible as it may seem, it is estimated that 50,000 motorists illegally pass a stopped school bus in New York State EVERY SCHOOL DAY. If you are convicted of passing a stopped school bus, five violation points are assigned to your driving record by NYS DMV. As schools and school buses resume after summer vacation, be extra careful in the vicinity of schools and be aware of the potential for stopped school buses anywhere. For those parents that drive their student to school be aware that it is also illegal to pass a stopped school bus with red lights flashing on school property.
Lastly, many of our schools have crossing guards at busy intersections in the vicinity of schools. When they step out into the street with their STOP sign, drivers need to obey them. It may cost you a few extra seconds on your journey but what’s a few seconds compared to the consequences of hitting a student? Be alert. No one wants to injure a child.