Your Guide to Driving through School Zones
The communities and residential areas of North Carolina are filled with school zones. These are places where children walk, run, play, and congregate. Children do not have the alertness and restraint found in most adults and are not always aware of what is going on around them. That is why you must be extra cautious when driving through such zones. Speeding through a school zone is prohibited. If you are cited for such an infraction, it can lead to serious consequences.
What the Law States
Jurisdictions in the state are allowed to lower and enforce speed limits in areas near schools. To be cited for speeding in a school zone, the cognizant authority must post a sign that gives you notice that you are entering a school zone. The sign should include the authorized speed limit and the days and hours that it is in effect. School zone speed limits may not be set below 20 mph.
If you are ticketed for speeding in a school zone, you will be required to pay a fine and 3 points will be added to your driver’s license. If you already have points on your license and the citation puts you over 12, you can have your license suspended.
Having points added to your license can cause your insurance premiums to increase by as much as 60%. This can be disastrous if you can barely make ends meet. You will also be required to pay a total of $438 in fines and court costs.
For many good reasons, you will want to avoid being stopped and ticketed for speeding in a school zone. Here are some tips that can help you drive without incident through these highly protected areas:
- Reduce your speed
The simplest way to keep kids safe and yourself legal is to slow down once you have entered a school zone. You should always assume that kids are nearby and will cross the street. Follow the speed limit posted.
- Do not pass a stopped bus
You should never pass a bus that has stopped, put up a stop sign, and is loading or unloading children.
- Do not block crosswalks
Be sure to stop at the marked white line before a crosswalk—never in it. If you stop inside the crosswalk, it will force kids to walk around your vehicle and expose them to moving traffic.
- Yield to the crossing guard
When the crossing guard steps out and holds their stop sign up, you should respect this. A crossing guard is the first person on the street and the last person off. You should not accelerate until they have left the crosswalk.
- Do not be distracted
You should be on high alert when entering a school zone. It is the last place you want to start a conversation with a passenger or over the phone.
Challenging a Speeding Ticket
If you have been unjustly cited for speeding in a school zone, you can mount a challenge against it. The police do not always get it right. If you did nothing wrong, then you should hire a Reidsville NC traffic lawyer and fight the charge.
Your citation may be the result of something more sinister. Cash-strapped locales and municipalities throughout the state use aggressive ticketing to increase revenue. Some local authorities even encourage police officers to stop and ticket people. One of the first things your Rockingham North Carolina traffic lawyer will do is investigate the data related to traffic stops and citations. If something seems off, your traffic lawyer in Rockingham County will use their findings to exonerate you.
In most instances, it will be your word against the word of the officer who stopped you. However, their testimony can be challenged. If there were people at the scene who remember your vehicle and the traffic stop, they can be brought forward to testify on your behalf. Traffic violations law firms know how to use all such evidence to your advantage.
For example, a traffic lawyer in Alamance NC you hired should be able to hold their own against law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges. Although you want to engage the services of a Burlington traffic lawyer who has good relations with the legal and law enforcement communities, the protection of your interests must be the priority.
If you have decided to fight a traffic ticket, you should speak to Alamance County traffic ticket attorneys NC at the Law Office of Tony Huynh.