What do you think is the biggest fine you can get while driving?
In Florida, if you are speeding in a school zone, whatever the normal fine would be for that speed is doubled. And if you are going more than 30 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, the current fine is $555.50. That’s a lot! Now that school is back in session, you may want to read the entire Florida statutes for school zones, which can be read here.
School Zones and Speed
Most Florida schools have a set speed limit of 15 or 20 mph. Normally you’ll see special speed limit signs with posted hours as you enter the zone, and flashing lights to alert you when the lowered speed limits are in effect. You’ll also see a sign to let you know when you are leaving the school zone. Keep in mind, however: if school is in session, you can be fined for exceeding the speed limit posted even if the lights are not flashing. It is the driver’s responsibility to obey the posted limits during the times set.
It’s true that speed limits are low in school zones. But there are many good reasons:
- Kids will be crossing the street on foot and on bicycles
- Kids are often distracted and unaware of the risks they are taking
- Traffic will be extra heavy with parents dropping off and/or picking up their children
- School buses will be entering or exiting the school—and if a school bus stops, traffic must stop as well.
- Passing a school bus while it is stopped is a very serious 4 point infraction on your Florida driver’s license.
According to the Florida DMV, the primary reason drivers break the rules in a school zone and speed isn’t because they don’t care—it’s because of lack of attention. Drivers may be distracted, talking on cell phones, listening to music, or simply daydreaming. So now, with school back in session, is a great time to remind yourself to focus on the task of driving and pay extra-close attention to what is happening all around you.
Back to School Time Can Be Deadly
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities among young pedestrians most often occur during the after school hours. And the Automobile Association of America stated Florida is the second-deadliest state for child pedestrians in the country. In South Florida, Miami-Dade County had the highest number of fatalities for child pedestrians, while Broward County was tied for 2nd place with Pinellas County for child pedestrian fatalities in the state. The National Safety Council (NSC.org) posted some tips to avoiding accidents—and fatalities—during school time:
- If dropping children off at school, don’t double park—it blocks visibility
- Carpooling will reduce vehicular traffic
- While driving, don’t block crosswalks at a red light or while making a turn—this could force pedestrians to go around you and into the path of another vehicle
- Yield to pedestrians, even if not at marked crossing sites
- Always stop for buses, school patrol officer, or crossing guard
- When near schools, take extra care to look for children who aren’t used to navigating traffic
- When passing a bicycle, always leave 3 feet minimum between your vehicle and the bicycle
- Use turn signals to let pedestrians, other cars, and bicyclists know which way you intend to turn
Have you or a loved one been injured by a motor vehicle while walking in Florida?
If so, the attorneys at Thomas and Pearl want to speak to you. Thomas and Pearl have the staff and resources to investigate an accident and help tell the story of what happened. Thomas and Pearl will gather eyewitness testimony, recreate accident scenes, and analyze police reports. They can gather expert medical opinions regarding any extent of injuries and treatment necessary—which can help to justify proper compensation.
If you are involved in an accident, you’ll have a lot on your mind. But remember: before speaking with an insurance company, do realize that they will attempt to settle your case in their best interest—not yours.
Call Thomas and Pearl. Your Thomas and Pearl attorney will be there to help you represent your best interests.
$150 MILLION in verdicts and settlements
Thomas & Pearl attorneys have the skills and training, plus the financial resources necessary to conduct a thorough accident and injury investigation. Ask about our experience as attorneys helping victims of motor vehicle accidents in Florida. Ask about the more than $150M (MILLION) dollars in recent and past jury verdicts and settlements we have gained for our clients. We’ll evaluate your case situation with you, develop a strategy to win or successfully negotiate the highest amount of compensation for you. Experienced legal help can make the difference between a successful resolution and losing. And you pay nothing unless we get that successful resolution for you.
Contact Thomas & Pearl at any time.