“But Mom! I don’t wanna go back to school…”
It’s pretty safe to assume that most of us have seen, if not driven through a school zone. An assortment of indicators are generally in place to alert you to such a zone and they can include flashing yellow lights, a variety of stick people walking against brightly colored signs, and the words “school zone” painted onto the asphalt, among other things. There is also generally a school in the very close vicinity.
School zone safety, while seemingly simple, is a subject that should still be addressed. The fact is that no matter how many obvious signs and warnings there are in these areas, some people will find a way to violate the rules anyway.
Don’t be one of those people.
Here are some rules to brush up on now that school is back in session…
Watch your speed.
The number on the sign should match the number on your speedometer. Period. There is no reason you need to blast through a school zone when pedestrians are out in numbers. Otherwise, prepare yourself for the hefty fine that will extricate itself from your wallet even faster than your car was traveling.
But wait - there’s more! According to this article on drivinglaws.org, fines for speeding can range from $36 to $232. If that school zone light is flashing, you shouldn’t go dashing because fines are doubled.
No matter how many ants are in your pants by the time you reach a school zone, passing in one is an extraordinary no-no. In fact, it’s illegal. One obvious reason for this law is that in passing someone, you would be required to increase your speed, which would likely assist you in breaking two laws at once as you go over the limit.
Maneuvering around other cars also decreases your visibility and makes you less aware of the small bodies moving around. The couple of minutes you will have saved is really not worth the risk, so it’s better to just be patient.
Mind the bus.
Yes, it’s big and yes, it takes awhile to load and unload, but you know what? When that school bus stops and the “Stop” sign comes down with it’s flashy lights, you must stop. That means both lanes of traffic. Trying to race around the bus or shoot past it before its passengers have started shuffling is unnecessary and irresponsible. There is a very real risk that you could cause bodily harm to others and/or yourself.
Mind the guards.
One of the scariest parts about being a pedestrian is having to cross the street. Why? Because cars won’t always let you. Crossing guards are there to make sure that everyone who needs to cross the street may do so in a safe and orderly manner. Once again, aggressive driving maneuvers on your part will only lead to an unsafe environment for everyone involved, which can’t be worth the solid minute you would lose by simply waiting your turn.
Keep your eyes on the road.
Not on your phone. Keep your eyes peeled for bikes. Not on your phone. Walking, riding, skating, you name it, kiddos and grownups alike are out in much higher quantities during the school year and you absolutely can’t afford the risk of glancing at your phone, even for a second.
Believe it or not, that text can wait. If there is an emergency and you need to answer your phone, find a way to pull safely off of the road first. Most of us have seen the commercials; it only takes a second of lapsed attention to change your entire life, so don’t take the chance.
From everyone at Quick-Set Auto Glass, drive safely out there!