Strict laws protect children in Texas school zones and around buses and bus stops. Breaking these laws can cost drivers an expensive ticket and worse, put children at serious risk of injury.
During the past four decades, attorney Bill Berenson has represented numerous young people who were hit by motorists while heading to and from school. We understand the unique aspects of representing children and teens and fight hard to ensure they receive the maximum possible damages. We also share this safety information with drivers with the hopes that motorists will avoid accidents involving kids.
School zones are established to alert drivers that they are near a school, where children are likely to congregate and cross the street while classes are in session. Designated school zones are marked by bright yellow signs with the word “school” and the speed limit. Some signs list the school zone hours, which are generally during morning arrival and afternoon departure, and other signs contain a light that flashes during the designated school zone times.
While the school zone is activated, drivers are subject to special traffic codes, including:
Speed limit. Drivers must abide by the posted speed limit, which is typically 20 or 25 mph during school zone hours. At all other times, you can continue driving the normal speed limit for that road. The price of a speeding ticket depends upon how much faster than the posted speed you were travelling, but is more expensive in a school zone than when school is not in session.
Cell phone use. As of September 2017 Texas drivers are prohibited from texting while driving statewide. While driving through a school zone, Texans are also prohibited from using a handheld cell phone in addition to texting. Other Texas cities have local ordinances that bar all cell phone use, including hands-free, so the safest bet is to not use a phone at all.
Even when school is not in session, drivers should be extra careful while driving near schools. Children and teens may linger on campus for after school activities and sports and so may be crossing at times outside of the designated school zone period.
Young students are placed at heightened risk as they get on and off the bus. For this reason, buses are designed to be highly visible and to ensure drivers know they are stopping. When the bus stops, lights flash and a red stop sign is extended.
Activation of the stop signals puts specific passing laws into play. Drivers travelling in either direction are not permitted to pass the stopped school bus. This rule applies if the road is divided only by a centerline or a left turning lane. However, only those drivers travelling in the same direction as the bus must stop if the road is divided by a median strip or physical barrier.
The enormous price of the traffic citation indicates how serious authorities consider illegal school bus passing. Drivers may be fined as $1,250 for violating this law.
Representing a minor is very different than representing an adult in an auto accident case. First, minors cannot sign contracts and cannot agree to a settlement without following special procedures. To protect children and to validate a settlement agreement, the court holds a “friendly lawsuit” during which the court reviews the settlement terms. After negotiating a settlement for your minor child, our lawyer efficiently guides you and your child through this special court process.
Calculating damages is another unique aspect of injury claims involving minors. Injuries may interfere with a child’s physical development and future opportunities, damages that are difficult to value, but that have real, profound consequences on your child. Our firm is experienced in recovering crucial compensation so children can have the best chance to thrive after an injury.
Our Fort Worth car wreck attorney provides compassionate, experienced representation to your child or teen. Schedule a free consultation with Berenson Injury Law to learn more about recovering damages after a school zone or bus accident.
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While we are proud to call Fort Worth home, we are also more than happy to help injured people living all throughout Texas. Whether it's a car accident on the interstate or a backcountry road, we have years of experience and will fight tirelessly until our clients get what they deserve!