It’s August, and the kids will be going back to school within the next two weeks. This is always a good time to remind you of safety tips for this season, since there will be a lot more kids on the road in the morning, and your commute will be affected by kids walking and riding bikes to school, school busses on the road, and crosswalks being active again.
This is also a time when police patrols will increase to catch speeders around school zones and to watch for crosswalk violators. For the following we are updating and republishing our back to school tips for this new school year.
Obey School Zone Speed Limits
Las Vegas has lots of schools. Clark County School District (CCSD) schools are shown on the attached map. In addition to CCSD, there are many private schools and daycares which may also qualify for school zone status. School Zone warning signs can be on the busiest streets, and on the quietest residential drives. Pay attention and realize that school zone speed limits are strictly enforced. To avoid a ticket, slow down to the posted speed limit wherever you see a School Zone sign. If no speed is posted, the speed limit is 15 mph. On the busier streets, you’ll see flashing yellow lighted signs to designate the school zone, and there is often a flashing yellow light on the back of the school zone sign in the opposite lane, to designate the end of the school zone. Keep in mind that the police regularly patrol school zones, and your likelihood of getting a ticket in a school zone is high.
Crosswalks may or may not have crossing guards. In either case, be aware when you see a crosswalk, that students may be using the crosswalks, and use caution.
If a crossing guard is present, to avoid tickets, obey the crossing guard’s Instructions. Once the stop sign goes up, you must stop and wait for students to cross. Nevada law provides that you will be charged with a misdemeanor for failure to comply with the guard’s instructions. If you disobey a guard’s instructions, and then collide with a pedestrian or bicycle rider, additional penalties will be added under the law. If a guard is not present, slow down and be aware that kids may be crossing the street on the way to or from school.
Under Nevada law, once the red lights begin to flash on a school bus, you may not pass the bus, until the bus turns the red lights off. Many school buses have yellow lights which flash first, before the red lights come on and the bus actually stops. While it’s not advisable to pass on the yellow lights, the law does not prohibit it. Keep in mind, that the law provides a method for school bus drivers to file a report on drivers who pass when the red lights are flashing.
Watch for School Children Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Near many larger schools, you may see large groups of pedestrian students walking on the sidewalks of the busier streets. Use caution, as this presents an unpredictable situation. While many kids walk, some ride bikes, and some use skateboards. Any time groups of kids congregate, it becomes a more unpredictable situation. Slow down and use caution.
Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles. Leave 3 feet between your car and any bicyclist you encounter. Watch out for bicyclists who may turn in front of you without signaling.
The other area of concern is kids waiting at bus stops. On residential streets many times, even with traffic approaching, kids may dart out into the street and present an unsafe situation. When you see this, slow down. Keep in mind that police may be nearby to avoid citations.
Watch for traffic backups at School Entrances
In general, many of our schools are on highly traveled streets. Its best to avoid those areas if possible, but if its unavoidable, expect there to be traffic tie ups in and around the entrance to the school property, as parents drop off their kids at school.
Another consideration near High Schools, is that many drivers may be new young drivers, who may act impulsively and, in some cases, recklessly. Be patient when nearing school entrances, to avoid accidents and tickets.
Do not block crosswalks near schools, as this may force those using the crosswalk to go around you, into the path of moving traffic. You can also be ticketed for doing so.
If you’re dropping off or picking up kids at school
Schools usually have designated drop off and pick up procedures. If you’re dropping off, or picking up kids, make yourself aware of that school’s procedures. To make things safe, don’t double park, don’t drop off kids across the street from the school, and carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.
Ticket Busters wishes all a happy, productive, and safe school year
If you get a ticket in a school zone, call Ticket Busters today. Our team will work with the applicable court to negotiate a reduced charge and fine. In most cases we can reduce speeding tickets to non-moving violations. We save you time dealing with courts and also points on your DMV record. That can save you increase auto insurance premiums. Call our office today at (702) 666-6666.