Schoolchildren in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are heading back to school. Palm Beach county is leading the charge with a start date of August 12, followed by Broward county on August 14. Miami-Dade's opening is more closely aligned with more traditional start dates and doesn't begin until August 20.
It's a time for drivers to exercise extreme caution.
Children will be everywhere, all the time, with elementary, middle and high schools having different starting and ending times. Throw in all students in after school activities, and there's always buses rolling out of schools to head to activities or scheduled bus routes.
Know the Rules
After a whole summer off, where drivers didn't change a thing when driving by a school, it's imperative that motorists remember that school is back in session.
- Follow all posted speed limits within the full school zone, and not for just most of the school zone.
- When a school bus is stopped with its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended, you must stop your vehicle at least 20 feet from the bus. Oncoming traffic and motorists approaching the bus from behind may not move until the stop arm is retracted and the red lights are no longer flashing.
- Beginning October 1, 2019, a driver cannot hold a wireless device in their hands if they are in a school zone (or an active work zone, one with workers present). Even if your telephone rings while you are a school zone, you can only tap but not physically hold the phone in your hands to respond to the call.
- There are no laws that specifically address eating or applying makeup in the car but there are laws that penalize distracted driving. Those penalties are amplified if the accident takes place in a school zone.
There are other changes, too. Some schools, such as Verde elementary school in Boca Raton, will be located in a temporary site while the school undergoes construction. Verde was built in 1980 and having its students in a different location is an adjustment for area drivers. Addison Mizner elementary school, also in Boca Raton, will soon also be torn down and rebuilt. The school was established in 1968 and having its students elsewhere will be an even bigger adjustment for locals. Be aware of new school locations and follow the attendant school zone traffic regulations.
New kindergarten students may have a different schedule the first week of school to give these newest students a time to adjust, altering the times the school zone regulations are in effect.
Security concerns have reduced the number of entrances at some schools, greatly adding to congestion to the remaining entrances.
Many schools are operating at their full capacity or are well over their planned capacity. Areas around these schools will also have more cars and congestion than anticipated.
If you can, avoid school zones, especially in the first tumultuous week of school to allow the school, students and parents to adjust with as few outside disruptions as possible. Adhere to ALL school zone regulations. Remember the October 1 ban on holding a wireless device in a school zone. If you forget, and are on your cell phone, you're likely to be seen by a police officer on duty by the school during release time.
What should you do if you're in an accident? If you're hurt, call emergency medical services. But don't assume that you're not hurt just because you don't need an ambulance. Many injuries don't manifest until well after the accident.
Call Matthew Waring at Waring Law if you've been in an accident in Miami Dade, Broward or Palm Beach County. Matthew Waring, Esq. has been on both sides of an accident: from winning for a client the compensation they deserve to being in an accident and feeling the pain and suffering of accident victims.
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Matthew Waring, Esq. is an experienced personal injury attorney who gives his clients his full commitment to getting the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
If you have been injured in an accident in South Florida, call Waring Law today at Tel:(561)-382-6860 for a free consultation.
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