Monday, August 31, 2009

School Zone Safety

Please accept my apology for my lapse in blogging lately. I just moved my family 1000 miles with about 10 days' notice. (CRAZINESS!!) So... I've restored enough order to my life and home to resume blogging.

Since school starts for my kids tomorrow, I thought I'd share a really great article I read in the newspaper this morning... It helps clarify the laws regarding school zones and increases understanding about them and why they're structured the way they are. The entire article is on the Tacoma News Tribune website, but my favorite points include:
  • The speed limit in a school zone is only 20 mph because research shows that "a child has approximately an 80% chance of surviving if struck by a car going 20 mph, versus an 80% chance of being killed [or a 20% chance of survival] if struck by a car going 27-28 mph. Plus, according to the article, it only saves about 6 seconds to go 8 mph faster through an average 600-ft-long school zone. It's just not worth six seconds!!
  • Fines for school zone speed violations are double the normal fine for speeding and, in Washington state, cannot be waived, reduced, or suspended.
  • School zones with signage that states "... when children are present" are in effect anytime children are present, year-round, 24-hours-a-day.
  • Stopping for a school bus: I had to quote the entire paragraph, because it is just that important: "You must stop behind a school bus with its lights flashing red and stop sign extended if you are in the same lane or an adjacent lane -- either in the same direction or an opposite direction -- or if it's at an intersection you're approaching... Don't start again until the signals are turned off and children have left the roadway." You do NOT have to stop for a school bus when the stopped bus "is traveling in the opposite direction and the roadway has three or more marked traffic lanes, is separated by a median, or is separated by a physical barrier."
Please note that these laws and requirements are only applicable in Washington State, although laws around the country are fairly similar. Be sure to check with your own state to determine laws and requirements specific to your community.

Here's to a safe school year!!


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1 comment:

  1. Hope your move went well. That must have been stressful to do so much in such a short amount of time. Hope you love your new neighborhood.