Editorial: School year brings lessons for drivers
The sights coming Monday are as familiar as ever in early August: Yellow buses, kids with backpacks, et cetera.
It's the first day of school for students around the quad-city area. And though admittedly the students probably won't be reading this, the rest of us need to take caution and realize that we need to be watching out for the community's students even if they may have moments when they forget to watch themselves.
In the Courier over these few days we're taking a look at all schools in our area as each get ready to open another academic year. To put it simply, there are a lot of students out there, and we're thankful to have such a vibrant educational community.
But back to watching out on those streets.
In the big picture, there are about 450,000 public school buses that travel approximately 5 billion miles each year. School buses carry about 24 million students to school and school-related events.
The rules of the school zone, according to ADOT, are:
The state law provides for the use of portable signs and yellow crosswalk markings, and the 15 mph provision is only in effect when the portable signs are placed in the street.
The school zone signs are placed and removed by crossing guards or school employees under a special operating agreement between the school district and the traffic agency that controls the roadway, and can only be used for legitimate school crossing activities during a normal school day.
Each 15 mph school zone is preceded by a permanent fluorescent yellow-green pentagon-shaped advance school warning sign showing two walking school children.
The first portable sign placed in the street states, "NO PASSING, 15 MPH, FINES DOUBLED, SCHOOL IN SESSION," which is located about 75 to 300 feet in advance of the yellow crosswalk depending on the non-school posted speed limit. This portable sign is placed at the location where the 15 mph speed limit begins. Furthermore, motorists cannot pass any other slower or stopped vehicles between the first portable 15 mph sign to the yellow crosswalk. At the yellow crosswalk, a different portable sign exists which states, "STOP WHEN CHILDREN IN CROSSWALK."
Sure some of these rules are right under our noses, and we've become conditioned to following them.
It's also easy to forget all summer long until we wake up Monday morning and suddenly notice the new student traffic before and after school.
Be careful out there.