In case you haven’t noticed, back to school season is here, and many students in Missouri and Kansas are back on the road for their commute to school. The increase in traffic may cause a headache for some drivers, but it’s important to obey the laws that are put in place to keep our children safe at school. Every year, students of all ages are injured and killed in automobile related accidents that occur on or near school property. It only takes a split second for an accident to occur so we want to inform all drivers that they should eliminate any distractions while driving in or around a school zone this year, even if it is not during school hours.
The personal injury attorneys at Castle Law Office have a few back-to-school reminders to help keep our school zones safe this school year. Don’t forget that the winner of our “Back to School PSA Video” will get $250 for their high school, club, group or organization of their choice!
Each school in Kansas and Missouri has certain rules and regulations that help to protect students from being injured by a negligent driver. Reduced speed limits surround almost every school and are critical to keeping the roads around a school safe. Some places in Kansas will triple the fee of a speeding ticket if the driver is caught speeding in a school zone.
We understand that waiting in traffic can be frustrating after a long day of work, but we need to work together as a community to enforce the rules and regulations that keep our students safe.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid getting stuck in traffic around school zones:
- Plan a new route
- Traffic around schools may delay your commute. You may also want to avoid the main entrance and exit.
- Leave earlier or later
- Avoid the student rush hour. Most schools start class at around 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and finish around 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Work from home
- This may save gas and time
- Keep the school zone safe
- Take your usual route, but keep an eye out for distracted drivers and suspicious activity.
- Avoid Driving
- A busy route might be the perfect excuse to try a new method of transportation.
A school zone is designed to help keep students and faculty safe and out of harm's way. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are responsible for those inside and outside of the vehicle. When you enter a school zone, you are responsible for knowing the laws and watching out for students and pedestrians. Several school districts in the Kansas City area have signs with flashing lights to help alert drivers when they are entering a school zone during school hours.
Distracted driving from smartphone usage is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents in a school zone. Our personal injury team invites you to join the #HandsFree movement to help reduce the number of people who are injured from distracted driving. You never know, a student’s life may one day depend on it. We listed several law enforcement agencies at the end of this blog so that you can contact a law enforcement official if you witness any suspicious activity or aggressive driving in school zones throughout Kansas City.
School Bus Laws
Law enforcement officials are cracking down on drivers who disobey the stop sign displayed from a school bus. During a month-long survey in 2017, the Kansas Department of Education reported that “At least 229 violations of the passing law were reported in a Kansas City metropolitan region that included the Blue Valley School District and the Olathe School District, as well as Bonner Springs-Edwardsville, Easton, and Spring Hill schools.” Every US state has some type of law in place that prohibits drivers from passing a school bus that is stopped for children.
First Student is one of the largest providers of drivers and school buses to schools in Kansas and they require each one of their drivers to complete a two-step process to check the bus before exiting to ensure that there is no child left behind. We can create laws all day but the road is only as safe as the drivers who fill it. Our community has the power to keep our roads safe and free from harmful drivers. Please contact one of our team members if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident while on school property.
Castle Law Office of Kansas City is happy to announce that we are sponsoring a Back to School PSA video contest for our local Kansas City metro area high schools. You Could Win $250 for Your high school club, group, team, or organization with a Back to School Public Safety Announcement Video.
Kansas City Missouri Police Department: (816) 234-5000
Kansas City Kansas Police Department: (913) 573-6000
Kansas Highway Patrol: (913) 782-8100
Missouri Highway Patrol: (816) 622-0800
Wyandotte County Police Department: (913) 596-3000
Lenexa Police Department: (913) 477-7300
Leawood Police Department: (913) 642-5555
Overland Park Police Department: (913) 895-6300
Olathe Police Department: (913) 971-7500