Students start to return to school now and that means drivers have to be more careful than before. They should strictly follow all traffic rules and avoid irresponsible driving, as seen in school zones. School zones are the busiest areas, and despite drivers knowing this, they reportedly do not follow the traffic laws during pick-up and drop-off times. Hence, being a threat to everyone around. The following are some of the dangerous and most common behaviors reported in School zones:
Speeding: School timings are from around 7 AM to 10 PM, which means that school zones come into effect in the above-stated timings. During drop-off and pick-up timings, the number of people surrounding the school is more than usual, because they consist of students, their parents, and the staff that works at school. As a result, for the safety of all of these people, the speed limit is significantly reduced to around 30 KM/Hr. To further lay stress on the importance of school zones, the traffic fines in school zones are also set significantly higher than normal fines. However, despite this traffic officers have reportedly fined drivers driving over the set speed limit. Drivers driving over the speed limit can expect to receive a fine of $196 to $253 under the motor vehicle act. Additionally, in 2021 alone 114 speeding tickets were issued to drivers.
U-turns: Although taking U-turns in school zones is illegal, taking them in areas where traffic congestion is high such as school zones can lead to collisions and endanger the lives of children or adults moving around. Taking a U-turn at the wrong time and the wrong speed can disrupt the normal traffic flow and hence lead to traffic jams. Moreover, sudden movement from one side of the road to the other for a U-turn can cause serious accidents. It is because other motorists or pedestrians might not react as quickly, and this can lead to collisions.
Distractive Driving: Anything that takes away your focus from driving is called distractive driving. It can be in the form of sending a text message, talking on a cell phone, using navigation, or having a meal while driving. Distractive driving is considered the second biggest reason for car crash deaths. There are three types of distractive driving and are considered dangerous:
- Visual: losing eye contact with the road
- Manual: not controlling the wheel
- Cognitive: not focusing on driving
Moreover, according to the ICBC, there were around 76 deaths each year from distracted driving. Additionally, it is also the leading cause of crashes among pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. According to the recently conducted survey, mostly young drivers above the age of 21 were involved in car crashes involving distractive driving. Drivers can reduce distracted driving by cutting down cellphone usage when driving or using multiple accessories that can aid them while they are driving.
Disobeying Stop Signs: The stop sign is of utmost importance as it keeps drivers and pedestrians safe from any unfortunate event. They are set up to control traffic, and drivers must come to a halt at or before the stop sign. Officers report that drivers tend to ignore the stop signs and pass without slowing down or coming to an immediate stop. It is extremely dangerous for people in school zones, crosswalks, or even intersections as they can be filled with children, their parents, and other vehicles.
Stopping in no stopping and no parking zones: The no stopping and no parking zones came into effect for a reason. They were introduced to keep the flow of traffic smooth so unnecessary collisions or accidents can be avoided. These signs are especially put off in school zones to make them as safe as possible for pedestrians and children. Stopping in no-stop or no-parking zones can disrupt the traffic flow and block sight lines for pedestrians and drivers. Most drivers park in such zones, leading to traffic jams and collisions.
conclusion: Lastly, there should be an increase in awareness, especially among young drivers to ensure that they strictly follow all the traffic laws necessary and so that precious lives can be saved. Moreover, the government should further increase fines so that drivers are more careful in following traffic rules.