With September upon us, school has started up again, which means that you need to start paying attention to those school zone signs again. At the start of the school year, when the weather is still nice outside, many children will be walking home from school and playing around schools. As a responsible driver, it is your duty to be caution when driving in areas near schools or parks where children could be present.
Check Your Speed Near Schools & Parks
Make sure that you are familiar with the areas around you where schools and parks are located; if you are not sure where the schools and parks are located where you typically drive, sit down with a map and study where they are located.
Next, pay attention when you are driving in these areas to the signs that are posted. It can become easy over time to ignore signs and assume you know what they say; make a conscious decision to pay attention to the signs near the schools and parks in your area. These signs will let you know how fast you can drive, and during what hours the speed limit may be lower.
When driving near school zone and parks, it is vital that you stay alert. The speed limits are lowered in these areas because young children are not able to comprehend the risks that they face if they run out in front of a vehicle; it is your job to watch out for them.
State governments expect that as a driver, you would exercise the same level of care and attention that a so-called "ordinary person" would when driving. An "ordinary person" would slow down when around schools and park, and exercise additional caution, which means slowing down and keeping your eyes open for children.
Be Prepared For Evasive Action
You should be prepared to take evasion action if you see a child near the road. If you see any children nearby, the first thing you should do is slow down. If the children approach the road, stop your vehicle completely. If the child seems to be unaware that they are in the road, beep your horn at them while stopped.
If for some reason you do hit a child, it is your responsibility to stop. If you keep driving, you can be charged with a hit and run. If you hit a child, stop your vehicle, check on the child and call 911 immediately with your cell phone or ask someone in the vicinity to do the same.
Always drive alert when near areas where children may play; you don't want to injure a child with your vehicle. If you do, after getting help for the child, you should call an attorney (like Carl L. Britt, Jr.) right away so you know what next steps to take.