School Is In Session – New Laws in TN for School Zone Safety
It’s that time of year again when routines become more concrete, children have to get out of bed in the morning, and parents have a break; school is back in session.
This means there are more drivers on the roads in the morning and afternoons. People are more in a rush because school zones are slowing them down. New teen drivers are on the road going to and from school and school events. School buses are out picking up and dropping off kids while stopping traffic. Driving for the next 9 months is going to take some patience and awareness of your surroundings.
Let’s discuss some rules of the road. Whether you drive for a living or it’s just getting to and from work, almost everyone is affected by schools or school buses. There are some things you better know before hitting the road for that commute.
- School Zones – First of all school zones, school zones can slow traffic to speeds as low as 15 mph. This is to watch out for kids and crossing guards in the street. Law enforcement really pushes drivers to follow that designated speed limit.
- Local Laws – Also, you need to be aware of your local laws. Tennessee for example, just passed a law this year that requires drivers to hang up the phone or at least use a hands free device while talking on the phone in a school zone.
- Passing School Buses – Next, let’s talk about school buses. When is it okay to pass a stopped school bus? Is it allowed at all? Again, check your local laws but for most states, if you are on a two lane road or a multi-lane road with a center turning lane, traffic in both directions must stop. The only time you don’t have to stop for flashing lights on a school bus is when you are meeting the bus and there is a physical barrier for the median. In that instance, traffic behind the bus must stop, but oncoming traffic does not.
- Be Aware – It’s extra important to remain aware in school zones since children are smaller than adults (making them less visible) and the may not always heed traffic.
There are strict regulations and training requirements out there for the drivers to be able to carry passengers on the bus. Drivers have to go through several weeks of training, regular drug screens, and physicals. They also undergo strict background checks. Schools take the safety and welfare of children very seriously and it starts with getting the kids to school. So in conclusion, keep a 360-degree awareness while traveling, especially in school zones. Make sure you know your local laws or you may be facing fines and other penalties, not to mention someone may get hurt. Remember to be safe! We are depending on the kids going to school today to be our future!
New Tennessee School Zone Law
Tennessee just passed a law that requires drivers to hang up the phone or use a hands free device in a school zone.
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