As our children begin to head back to school, it is important to remember all of the laws that we must adhere to as motorists. Laws concerning school zones are no exception. Here is what you need to know about driving in and around a designated school zone in Connecticut.
Since children do not always pay attention, it is imperative that motorists do. Motorists must be sure to:
- Remain alert of children potentially walking directly behind their vehicle when backing up
- Watch for children on bicycles or those who are walking – they have a tendency to travel without always looking in every direction
- Stop their vehicle when they see red lights flashing on a school bus (this indicates children are getting on or off the bus) until the lights stop flashing
- Be especially cautious when driving through neighborhoods and in school zones
Stopping for School Buses
According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, 330,000 Connecticut children are transported to and from school via school bus each day.
When a school bus has stopped with its red lights flashing, a driver may not pass it if they are traveling in the same direction or in the opposite direction. Additionally, since the area 10 feet around the school bus is most dangerous for children, drivers must be at least 10 feet from school buses loading or unloading students with their red lights flashing.
The only time drivers are not required to stop for a school bus with its red lights flashing in CT is if a median or other physical barrier separates the roadway between a driver and the bus.
Designated School Zones
Under CT Gen Stat § 14-212b (2012), the Office of the State Traffic Administration is allowed to designate any part of a state highway next to or close to school property as a school zone. School zones are typically marked with signs, speed limit postings, and flashing lights. A person that fails to comply with speed limit postings or violates the law within a school zone faces fines double the amount ordinarily issued for the same violation outside of a school zone. In other words, if a speeding ticket fine outside of a school zone would be $100, it would jump to $200 within a school zone.
The Attorneys at Carter Mario Law Firm Can Help
If your child has been injured on a school bus or in a school zone-related accident, it can be extremely overwhelming and can impact numerous aspects of not only their lives but of yours as well. You and your family should not have to pay the price for the careless or reckless mistakes of another person.
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