Back to School Time: Laws of the School Zones

Aug 7, 2019 @ 11:03 AM — by Richard Kennedy III

We have compiled a list of common questions that pop-up at the beginning of the school year.  Policemen heavily patrol and enforce traffic laws in school zones and especially at the beginning of the year.  The kids are excited to get back to school, see old friends, and make new friends.  Parents are often rushed and trying to get to school during the drop-off time so that their children are not marked tardy.  Other drivers are often frustrated with the slower traffic, additional vehicles on the road, and general congestion around schools and these all lead to potentially dangerous situations.  What should you do in a school zone?  Pay careful attention.  What else should you be aware of?  Please continue reading.

Can you pass other vehicles in a school zone?  On a two-lane road or highway, no passing is allowed in a school zone during posted school hours. 

What do you do when a school bus has the "stop signs" out for loading and unloading?  When approaching a school bus that has the signals and stop signs flashing and out, a driver must stop at least 30 feet from the school bus.  This applies if you are driving in the same or in the opposite direction of the school bus.  A school bus driver has the authority to report a driver who violates this law.  What about if the roadways are divided by a physical barrier or a median? When driving on a road or highway with separate roadways does not need to stop when encountering a school bus, signals and signs illuminated and out, that is traveling on a different roadway or when upon a controlled access highway and the school bus is stopped in a loading zone which is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.  But a road with a center turn lane is not a "divided highway" and drivers must stop under the appropriate circumstances.

Can I use my cellphone in a school zone while driving?  The short answer is no.  No texting, social media posting, emails, or surfing the web.  IF you have the ability to make and receive calls "hands free," then you may use your cell phone in that manner only.

 

Remember, pay attention.  Put down your phone and focus on driving.  Especially in a school zone. 

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