Aug. 4, 2022 – With most K-12 schools across the state beginning classes within the next two weeks, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission reminds drivers to be aware of school zones and to be cautious around school buses.
School zone times vary around the state but generally are in effect anytime from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Drivers may have gotten out of the habit of slowing down around schools during summer, but a speeding ticket is an expensive reminder, said LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman.
“When you’re traveling during school zone times, make the extra mental effort to make child safety a priority,” Freeman said. “We all need a little reminder at the beginning of the school year that the school buses are rolling, and children are moving about.”
Operating a cell phone in a school zone not only is dangerous, it is illegal in Louisiana. The fine can be as much as $500 for a driver’s first offense and up to $1,000 for subsequent violations.
“Put the phone down and pay attention,” Freeman said. “Your phone call is less important than the safety of students.”
Watch out for school buses, too, as they pick up and drop off children. There are specific laws regarding when a driver must stop for a bus that is flashing red lights, which indicates the bus is loading or unloading children:
- On a two-lane road, all vehicles in both directions must stop.
- On a three-lane road with a center turning lane, all vehicles in both directions must stop.
- On a four-lane road with no median or other physical barrier between the lanes, all vehicles in both directions must stop.
- On a divided highway with a grass median or other physical barrier, vehicles moving in the same direction as the bus must stop; oncoming traffic should proceed with caution.
- On a highway with a center turning lane with two travel lanes on each side, vehicles moving in the same direction as the bus must stop; oncoming traffic should proceed with caution.