Officers with the Clarksville Police Department are reminding drivers of the traffic laws they must follow when they pass through school zones throughout the city, as the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System resumes classes this week.
Per a report by Clarksville Now, a spokesperson with the CPD says that the department will be watching drivers carefully to catch anyone speeding through school zones or attempting to pass school buses.
The CPD says that drivers should remember that school zones are marked with flashing lights or traffic signs, and that drivers should also pass through these areas distraction-free while remaining alert and cautious. In addition, drivers should note that active school zones have a speed limit of 20 mph unless otherwise posted.
Drivers who are caught speeding in school zones can receive fines of up to $269.50 and receive points on their licenses.
The CPD indicated that drivers who use certain roads throughout the city and county may experience heavy traffic in the mornings and afternoons on school days. Those roads include Rossview Rd, the area near East Montgomery Elementary and Montgomery Central Campus, Dixie Bee Rd, and Trough Springs Rd. Alternate routes or detours may help drivers reach their destinations faster while avoiding the school zones.
Did You Know These School Bus Traffic Laws?
In addition to driving through school zones and the stricter traffic laws that those areas entail, drivers should also be aware of the laws regarding school buses and their rights on roadways in Montgomery County. With the fatal school bus accident that occurred in Hamilton County last November, bus safety is at the forefront of school administrators’ minds, and it’s vital for drivers to be cautious around these vehicles as well, as they can carry dozens of children.
Some important laws to remember include:
- Unseparated traffic must stop when school buses stop to pick up or drop off passengers.
If you’re driving on a two-lane roadway, a two-lane roadway with a center-turning lane, or a four-lane roadway without a median separation, you must come to a complete stop when a school bus stops for passengers. However, when a bus stops for passengers on a highway or four or more lanes with a median separation, only drivers on the same side of the road as the bus must stop.
- It’s illegal in all 50 states to pass school buses that are loading or unloading children.
Whether you’re in Tennessee or traveling out of state, never attempt to pass a school bus when it has stopped to pick up or drop off students. All states have laws against passing stopped school buses at bus stops, and the consequences for violating the law can be harsh, including large fines.
- Yellow flashing lights mean slow down and prepare to stop, red flashing lights mean stop.
Buses are equipped with both yellow and red flashing lights. When they begin flashing yellow, you should treat them the same as you would a yellow light at an intersection, because they mean the bus is about to stop. And when the lights are flashing red and the stop sign is extended, you’re required to come to a complete stop and wait for the bus driver to drop off or pick up all passengers.
School zone and bus safety is something all drivers should pay close attention to, as their behavior and decisions behind the wheel can make Clarksville’s roads safer for everyone, including thousands of local students. Parents can also better protect their children by making sure they know the proper protocol for entering and exiting their buses, as well as reporting any dangerous driving habits or behaviors that they notice from their bus drivers.
Matt Hardin Law’s team of Clarksville bus accident attorneys is here to help families whose children were injured in bus accidents. If your child was hurt because of a negligent driver, you may be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation. Get in touch with our legal team today to find out how we can help. Just dial (931) 274-7788 or complete a free online consultation form.