School has resumed. So have school speed zones.
School has resumed for the 2023-24 school year and so have reduced speed limits normally associated with school speed zones. 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.
If a school speed zone does not have flashing beacons, there will be a sign telling drivers the hours that the speed limit is in effect. These are often between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. but might have other hours posted, such as 7-9 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. for example.
Furthermore, speeding fines are doubled if you are convicted of violating a school speed limit.
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 might seem, it is estimated that 50,000 motorists illegally pass a stopped school bus in New York state every school day. And that’s just in this state.
If you are convicted of passing a stopped school bus, five violation points are assigned to your driving record by New York state Department of Motor Vehicles. Now that schools are open and school buses are traveling each morning and afternoon, be extra careful in the vicinity of schools and be aware of the potential for stopped school buses anywhere.
New York state law states that drivers in either direction must stop at least 20 feet from a stopped school bus.
For parents who drive students to school, be aware that it is also illegal to pass a stopped school bus with red lights flashing on school property, not just on streets and roads.
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 might delay 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 or kill a child.