School Is Open, Are You Focused On The Road?

kids getting on school bus

School busses are hitting the roads again and the school bells are ringing the start of a new school year, will you be aware? Maybe you took a new job over the summer, or your employer wants you back in the office. Whatever the case may be your new route to work may involve school zones. If this is the case, beware!

Florida law permits enforcement of a 15 – 20 mph speed limit in a school zone and this limit is enforceable typically 30 minutes before, during and after students arrive and leave school. Penalties can be hefty if you are caught speeding in a school zone and can range in price from $50.00 to $2,000.00 for first time offenders!

Typically, a ticket is issued if you are caught speeding in a school zone, however, if you are at fault multiple times for this type of offense you could be arrested and face third-degree felony charges. Points are usually added to your license and sometimes people may have to attend traffic school on top of their ticket fine. With the rise in text usage, if you are caught texting and driving in a school zone, you could receive 2 – 5 points on your license depending on if this is a first offense or greater.

school speed limit in school zone
school zone sign

Did you know there are several different violations a driver can make in a Florida school zone?

Citations can be issued for any of the following:
1) Speeding
2) Texting
3) Disregarding a crossing guard
4) Violating the right of way or failure to yield

How far around a school is considered a school zone?

Although it may be difficult to really tell where the school zone starts and ends, there is typically signage and flashing lights on the signage that can be seen as drivers enter into the school zone.

When leaving a school zone there is typically a sign indicating where the school zone ends. A school’s boundaries are usually the speed zone dedicated to the roads that border a school or playground.

Usually, the designated school zone area is 200 feet from the edge of the school’s property or school playground. Once a driver enters this zone, they must reduce speed otherwise face the likelihood of a penalty. When a school zone includes multiple lanes of traffic, drivers in all lanes must obey the school zone speed as well.

School buses, do you need to stop when they are stopped and have their red lights flashing?

Yes, absolutely! If you are driving on a two-way street or highway, you must stop your vehicle no matter which direction you are traveling. You must remain stopped until all school children are clear of the road and the bus turns it lights off and the stop sign has been removed. Most school buses have an automatic stop sign bolted to the side of the bus that automatically swings out to alert drivers.

Be sure to stop your vehicle at least 20 feet from the stopped school bus in either direction as well. If you are driving on a divided highway or a highway that has a raised barrier or unpaved median that is at least 5-feet in width you are not required to stop if you are traveling the opposite direction and there is a school bus stopped with their red lights flashing.

What are the penalties if you pass a stopped school bus with their lights flashing?

Drivers who pass a school bus that is stopped with their red lights flashing could face a monetary fine and possible license suspension for multiple offenses where they don’t stop for a stopped school bus.

Our bail bond agents at 49th Street Bail Bonds hope drivers exercise caution on the roadways as Pinellas County and surrounding areas head back to school this year. Crossing guards and law enforcement are doing their part to keep school kids safe, we hope drivers will too.

If you are arrested for a school zone violation, we invite you to call our Clearwater, Florida bail bonds office at 727-592-0000.

We offer bail for a variety of charges including but not limited to traffic violations, road rage, domestic violence, assault, battery, driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), drugs, drug trafficking, child neglect, boating under the influence (BUI) and several others. Being arrested can be extremely scary especially if it’s your first arrest. Our bail bondsmen will help you every step of the way, remind you of court dates and lend an empathetic ear. We are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week including weekends and holidays. Give us a call for fast bail today! We are the bondsman on 49th!