Driving In School Zones
When driving in school zones in Texas, even if school is not in session, drivers may encounter large numbers of children walking to and from school buildings. This may occur when school is not in session because of special events. School buses and vehicles of parents who are picking up or dropping off their children also often occupy school zones. School zones in Texas have special speed limits and traffic laws that must be obeyed during certain times of the day or if an indicator light is flashing.
In the case of Texas school zones, the speed can be reduced to a maximum of 15 miles an hour in certain circumstances. Even on highways, a school speed limit is usually no more than 35 miles per hour. If the regular speed limit is over 55 miles per hour or more, there has to be a "buffer zone" to give people time to slow down to 35 mph. The reduced speed of school zones is to provide reaction time to motorists and to prevent injuries to children that are hit by vehicles in school zones.
Children are more vulnerable than adults to being hit by a car for a number of different reasons. First, they can be less cautious than adults. Second, they are shorter and smaller, making them harder to see from behind the wheel of a car. Also, being smaller means that they are less likely to survive a crash than an adult. Slowing down in a school zone keeps children safe by reducing the likelihood of a collision and also by reducing the force of impact if there is a collision. The faster your vehicle is going, the longer it takes for you to slow down and the less time a child has to get out of your way.
In order to make sure that drivers recognize the importance of obeying the school zone speed limits, Texas has imposed increased fines and court costs on drivers caught speeding in school zones. At the very least, there is an extra $25 court cost added on to the cost of your ticket. This money is collected and used to fund school crossing guard programs and other programs related to child safety. Other than the additional $25.00 court cost, fines for a Texas school zone ticket can vary based on what city, county, or municipality you are stopped in.
There are several different ways to identify a Texas school zone. Traffic signs are the most common identifier. Most of the time, signs are posted before you get to the school zone to let you know that you approaching it. There could also be a sign that says, "School Zone" and shows the appropriate speed limit and the hours that the school zone is in effect. Signs are painted white and neon yellow so that they are easily visible. Many signs are also equipped with flashing lights that flash yellow whenever the school zone is in effect.
Most of the time, Texas school zone speed limits are only in effect directly before and directly after the school day. However, if you see the yellow lights flashing at other hours of the day, you should still slow down. Texas school zone speed limits can apply to extracurricular activity hours, too, if the lights are flashing.
On some roads, the road itself is painted with the words "School Zone" and the speed limit. This doesn't tell you when the school zone speed limit is in effect, but it should alert you to keep an eye out for children and to look for the road signs that indicate when the reduced speed limit is required. Also, the use of cell phones is prohibited in Texas school zones.
School zones should be a safe haven for children. So as a defensive driver we should all do our part and help the children by slowing down and paying attention to our surroundings. Children aren’t as smart as adults so as adults we should be the ones looking out for them in the school zone.
But, if you do get a ticket in these zones you shouldn’t be angry at the cop and cursing at the fact that you may be attending a defensive driving class. You should be thankful that you only failed to notice a cop not a child at play. Tickets can be dismissed with defensive driving but lives lost can never be replaced.
Reasons to take Comedy Driving Defensive Driving
- Flexible Schedule
- Email Delivery Available
- Unlimited Log-ins
- State Approved
- No Final Exam
- Animated Course
- Free Audio and Video
- Comedic Course
- Live Phone Support
- No Hidden Fee’s