Many motorists are being reminded of safe driving habits in school zones in an unpleasant way – hefty speeding tickets. In order to ensure safety around school zones, laws have been put in place to eliminate such dangerous conditions. Gathered are some safe driving tips to keep our school zones a safe place for children to learn and play:
- As required by law, you must reduce your speed in school zones whenever children are present. Despite popular belief, this does not mean slow down during school hours. You must slow down during any moment when children are present, which means you must account for after school practices and sporting events. Fines in Texas were recently increased to a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $1,250. Second offense within five years was increased to $2,000.
- There are also laws protecting children on school busses. You are required by law to stop, and not speed up and pass school busses that are loading or unloading students. These laws create a safe zone for children to enter and exit the school bus.
- Whenever you see a school bus with their stop sign extended and their flashing lights turned on, you must stop. Never accelerate around a school bus. In September the maximum fine for a first offense of stop-arm running in Texas increased from $1,000 to $1,250.
- When you are driving through a school zone, be sure to keep your foot hovering over the brake pedal. That way, if a child runs across the street to catch up with their friends, you will be prepared to make a quick stop. Likewise, keep in mind that some children forget to look both ways before crossing, so you must keep a careful eye out.
- Most importantly, always be aware of your surroundings and drive cautiously through school zones.
Be aware that many school districts have now installed high definition cameras to record law breakers passing school buses when the stop arm of the bus is active. Pass a school bus and you’ll get your ticket in the mail.
Contact Mike Leonard Insurance Agency in Carrollton for all of your Texas auto insurance needs. We have been providing excellent insurance services for Texas residents since 1982 and promise to continuing working from the values that have brought us so many successful years.