Tennessee Highway Patrol To Increase Enforcement at School Zones
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is stepping up its enforcement of traffic violations at school zones throughout the state, and will refocus its efforts to target people who speed in school zones, drive while distracted, or disregard the presence of school buses that are loading and unloading children near schools.
According to a report by ClarksvilleOnline.com, the THP issued a total of 525 speeding tickets in school zones during the 2014-2015 school year—a decrease of 13 from the 2012-2013 school year.
In addition, the report also states that the span of time between 2012 and 2014 saw a 2.4 percent increase in the total number of crashes between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Tennessee at school zones. THP officers are hoping their increased level of enforcement can help reduce that number.
There have been 55 pedestrians killed on streets, highways, and interstates in Tennessee so far in 2015, and there were 54 pedestrians killed through the same date in 2014.
650,000 children ride buses to and from school every day, according to a recent figured by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
How Can You Help Make School Zones Safer?
It’s not uncommon for drivers to get impatient at school zones, as they’re generally encountered during rush hour in both the mornings and evenings and can occasionally cause delays. However, school zones are vital areas that help children get to and from school safely, whether they’re walking or riding the bus. To do your part to help make these areas safer, try to follow these tips:
- Drive at or below the posted speed limit.
Speeding in school zones doesn’t just carry a hefty fine—it also puts children at significant risk. As soon as you see flashing lights indicating an upcoming school zone, begin reducing your speed and maintain it throughout the duration of the school zone—even if you don’t see any children in the area. Reducing your speed temporarily through a school zone adds only a slight delay to your commute, but it can save lives.
- Never pass stopped school buses that are loading or unloading children.
If you see a school bus stopped with its stop sign illuminated or extended, you are required by Tennessee law to come to a complete stop and wait for all children to board or leave the school bus before accelerating. Never attempt to pass a stopped school bus or accelerate until it’s clear that all children have exited or entered the bus and it is beginning to drive away from the school zone.
- Never drive while distracted at or near school zones.
Although children are required to use crosswalks when crossing the street in school zones, you can’t always count on them to do so—especially young children. That’s why it’s vital to be alert, attentive, and on the lookout for pedestrians, including small children, throughout the entire length of school zones. Driving while distracted due to cell phone usage, eating or drinking, or changing the radio station while driving through a school zone can significantly increase your chances of striking a pedestrian with your vehicle.
Matt Hardin Law’s team of Clarksville car accident attorneys appreciates the efforts of the THP to focus on stricter enforcement at school zones throughout the state. Many children rely on crossing guards, crosswalks, and school zone lights and signs to get to and from school safely, but it’s up to drivers to obey all traffic laws to help make those areas truly safe.
If you or someone you love was injured by a negligent driver while walking, driving, or riding in a vehicle as a passenger, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and much more. To find out how our legal team can help you recover the money you deserve, get in touch with us today by dialing (931) 274-7788 or fill out a free online form.