SAFETY DESK: School Zone Safety
By SHAWN CASSIDY
Field Safety Specialist, Lyman-Richey Corporation
School is now back in full swing. Please take a moment to review the following safety guidelines for operating within an active School Zone.
Observe the posted speed limits - It’s important to slow down as you approach a school zone and watch for children who may run out into harm’s way. Posted speed limits in school zones range from 15 to 35 mph. Traveling at a slower speed gives drivers time to stop safely in case there are children crossing the road unexpectedly. Children may be out and about at various times throughout the day for recess, lunch time or field trips so you need to be careful when driving in school zones. Respect your school’s posted pick up and drop off areas to avoid creating unnecessary traffic congestion and unsafe conditions. This includes respecting "No Parking" and "No Stopping" zones.
Obey the crossing guard at all times - Whether you think they are right or not, obey crossing guards at all times. Children expect that crossing guards will only allow them to cross if the situation is safe, so disregarding a crossing guard’s instructions can have serious consequences.
Do not pass other vehicles in a school zone - This is a dangerous practice that is prohibited in school zones. When passing other vehicles, you may be travelling quickly and your overall visibility is reduced. Children crossing the street won’t expect you to be passing and won’t be prepared for your car being in a different lane than usual. Similarly, you should not any sort of unpredictable driving maneuver, like backing, may catch children off guard and cause or contribute to an accident.
Expect the unexpected - Children are unpredictable and can run out into traffic at any time. Watch carefully as you approach a school zone and be prepared for children to step on to the road unexpectedly.
1. When are the most likely times for children to be going to or coming from school in your area?
2. What are some additional precautions we can take when thinking of school zones?