“When Children are Present”

by Safety Connection

Schools are opening again (some for the first time since the pandemic began!), and it’s a good time to brush up on your school zone and school bus driving rules.

So what does the school zone speed limit sign mean when it says “when children are present”? According to state statute, the speed limit applies during school hours any time a child is on or near the sidewalk where the sign is posted. It doesn’t matter if they are walking or riding a bicycle, skateboard or scooter.

The speed limit also applies whenever a crossing guard is within the crosswalk or is placing or removing temporary traffic signs or cones. The speed limit starts at the school zone sign and continues for the entire length of the school zone even if you have already passed a child on the sidewalk. If a yellow school bus flashes its red warning lights, motorists in both directions must come to a complete stop and remain 20 feet away from the bus until the driver extinguishes those red warning lights. When the bus flashes yellow warning lights, motorists are allowed to “pass cautiously.”

Please be patient and drive carefully through school zones and when approaching stopped school buses to help keep our kids (and crossing guards!) safe this school year!

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