August brings the beginning of the school year for many students. That means buses will be making routes around town, picking up and dropping off kids. Unfortunately, drivers may forget the rules of the road in school zones, placing children at risk of being involved in an accident that causes injury or death.
When a vehicle passes a stopped school bus or speeds through a school zone, the driver places the health and safety of students at risk. This is especially true in today’s digital age when distractions are aplenty.
Cell phones and other electronic devices hold the attention of both students and motorists alike, increasing the chances of a collision.
If either is looking down at their phone or listening to music through earphones, they might not be aware of a potential hazard until it’s too late.
School Zone Safety
Drivers are expected to be cautious and alert when traveling through school zones. Children, running late for the bus, might dart across the street. Or they may be playing at the bus stop and accidentally jump out into traffic.
Colorado’s School Bus Laws
In Colorado, when a school bus has its stop-arm down and/or flashing lights on, a driver must stop at least 20 feet before the vehicle. They cannot continue driving until the arm is retracted and the lights have been turned off.
The exception to the stopping requirement is if the motorist is on the opposite side of the road that is separated by a median or other divider.
Drivers who do not abide by the state’s school bus laws could be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor for their first offense. If they commit a violation within 5 years of the previous conviction, they could face a class 2 misdemeanor charge. Penalties include up to $1,000 in fines, a mandatory court appearance, and six points placed on the driving record.
Call Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C. to Discuss Your Case
When a driver’s negligence or reckless actions result in a pedestrian accident that causes injury or death, they could be held liable for damages.
If your child was harmed because a motorist did not adhere to school zone laws, you might have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim against them. Our team is here to guide you through the process to help recover compensation for expenses and losses you incurred.
We will fight to protect your rights and best interests. Call us now or contact us online.