Clarksville, TN – It is that time of year again when children return to school.
Clarksville Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) classes start on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 with half a day classes. The first full day is Friday, August 8th, 2014.
The Clarksville Police Department wants to remind everyone of the following rules of the road and information to ensure that we have a safe 2014-2015 school year.
- v School Zones will be active and enforced, beginning tomorrow drivers need to be alert to School Zone signs and their speed.
- v ALL school zones have a 20 MPH speed limit, unless otherwise posted.
- v Speeding in a school zone could result in you being charged with Reckless Driving.
School Bus Stop Law
Meeting A School Bus: Any driver meeting a school bus or church bus on which the red stop warning signal lights are flashing should reduce his speed and bring the vehicle to a complete stop while the bus stop signal arm is extended. The vehicle must remain stopped until the stop arm is pulled back and the bus resumes motion.
Overtaking A School Bus: Any driver approaching a school bus or church bus from the rear shall not pass the bus when red stop warning signal lights are flashing. The vehicle must come to a complete stop when the bus is stopped. The vehicle must remain stopped until the stop arm is pulled back and the bus resumes motion.
School Bus Warning Lights: It is illegal to pass a school bus that has stopped to load or unload students. Never pass on the right side of the bus, as this is where the children enter or exit.
This is illegal and can have tragic results. You must stop and remain stopped until:
- The bus has started moving, OR
- The driver motions for you to proceed, OR
- The visual signals are no longer activated such as the red flashing lights go off and/or the stop arm is pulled back.
Red Flashing Lights: When the Red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended this indicates that the bus has stopped and that children are now getting on or off the bus.
Motorist must stop their cars and wait until the Red flashing lights are turned off, the stop arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving again before they start driving again.
When driving on a highway with separate roadways for traffic in opposite directions, divided by median space or a barrier not suitable for vehicular traffic, the driver need not stop, but should proceed with caution.
A turn lane in the middle of a four-lane highway is NOT considered a barrier, but a fifth lane that is suitable for vehicular traffic. Drivers meeting a stopped school bus on this type of road would be required to stop in both directions.
When a school bus is stopped at an intersection to load and unload children, drivers from ALL directions are required to stop until the bus resumes motion.
It is a Class A misdemeanor and the driver can be fined between $250.00 and $1,000 for not stopping for a stopped school bus.
Typical Fines & Cost are $465.50 plus 6 points on your Driver’s License.
This law is the same in ALL 50 states!
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
As a pedestrian, you are at a major disadvantage when crossing streets, intersections and standing on corners. You are not always visible to drivers; especially for large truck and bus drivers and you don’t stand a chance if a vehicle hits you.
Pedestrians need to be careful of all vehicles and never take chances when they are sharing the road with large vehicles, like trucks and buses. Here are some safety tips that can keep you safe when walking from one destination to another.
Pedestrians must walk along sidewalks when available. It is unlawful for pedestrians to walk in the road where there are sidewalks. When there are no sidewalks, always walk on the left side of the road facing traffic (traffic should be coming toward you), this allows you to see any sudden dangers coming at you. Two or more pedestrians should walk in single file and never side by side of each other.
Be alert and ready to move out of the way in case a driver cannot see you. It is not a good idea to walk or jog along busy roadways while wearing audio headphones or listening to portable audio devices. You may not hear the important traffic sounds that would help you avoid potential dangers.
Watch Your Walkways
Walk on sidewalks and in crosswalks whenever possible. It is important to pay attention to walk signals and keep a safe distance when standing on street corners. Trucks and buses make wide right turns and occasionally run up onto the corner of the sidewalk. It is important for you to be alert and to move back. Most likely, the truck driver will not see you or may be distracted and you could be seriously injured or killed if hit.
Make Yourself Visible
Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially when walking at night. Dressing to be seen will make it safer for you and drivers. Professional drivers do a lot of driving at night, and there’s a good chance a truck driver will not see you if you don’t make yourself visible. Carrying a flashlight is your safest bet for being seen at night
- Before crossing, stop at the curb, edge of the road, or corner before proceeding.
- Look left-right-left, and if it’s clear, begin crossing, look over your shoulder for turning vehicles.
- Continue to check for approaching traffic while crossing.