As schools start new year, Louisiana State Police urge motorists to be cautious
As the 2022-23 school year kicks off, Louisiana State Police reminded motorists to drive with extra care and be especially aware of school zone speed limits, school buses loading or unloading children, and children walking or biking to school.
Troopers along with local law enforcement will be patrolling school zones throughout the state, and speeding will not be tolerated while school zone speed limits are in effect, according to a news release.
Most school zones have a reduced speed limit from 7-9 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. However, some zones are marked with slightly different times, and it is the responsibility of motorists to be aware of these speed zones and to reduce their speed accordingly.
A school bus is designed to be the safest vehicle on the road, but the greatest risk to our school-age children is the loading and unloading of children at bus stops. As a reminder to motorists, all vehicular traffic must stop no less than 30 feet from a school bus when the stop signals on the bus are activated. A vehicle approaching a stopped school bus from the opposite direction does not have to stop when traffic is separated by a divided median, but must remain cautious of the children boarding or exiting the bus.
Additionally, motorists are encouraged to remember that:
- Louisiana Law states that no person shall operate any wireless communication device, which includes texting and any social media, while operating a motor vehicle during the posted hours within a school zone. School zones across Louisiana are hands-free zones, so put that cell phone down while driving
- School crossing guards have the authority to direct vehicles through intersections when traffic lights are red and to stop vehicles when the traffic lights are green. Motorists who are approaching school zones are urged to pay attention to the school crossing guards for hand instructions.
Motorists should expect traffic congestion and possible delays near school zones. It is important for each driver to be patient with the increased traffic and allow extra time to arrive safely at their destination. Remember to always buckle up and insist that all occupants in the vehicle are buckled up as well. Keeping these safety tips in mind will help assure a safe school year not only for our children, but for the motoring public as well.