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HomeNewsClarksville Police Department releases School Bus and School Zone Safety Tips

Clarksville Police Department releases School Bus and School Zone Safety Tips

Clarksville Police Department - CPDClarksville, TN – The Clarksville Police Department has been receiving numerous complaints about school bus and school zone violations.  We wanted to take this opportunity to remind the public about the rules of the road in school zones and actions to take when schools buses are in operation.

CPD’s Traffic Unit Supervisor Sgt Johnny Ransdell— “Safety in school zones and adhering to traffic laws when school buses are operating is an absolutely necessity.  We will be issuing citations for people violating school bus laws and speeding in school zones”.

School Kids getting on a bus.
School Kids getting on a bus.

School Zones

School Zones are marked with lights or traffic signs – drivers need to be alert, monitor their speed and do not be a distracted driver

All school zones have a 20 MPH speed limit unless otherwise posted.  Speeding in a school zone could result in you being charged with Reckless Driving.

Pay attention to school crossing guards or officers directing traffic in the school zones

Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and residential areas  

Be prepared to stop and yield to children in crosswalks.  Don’t block crosswalks.

 **Speeding in a school zone can result in a fine of $274.50 and points on your license. 

  • NOTE: The School Zone reduced speed lights will be flashing on the “full day” schedule. The speed lights are not adjusted on half day schedules so be aware when schools are released on half days, the lights will not warn you to reduce speed.
  •  Also, Tennessee passed a new law:  (1) It is an offense for a person to knowingly operate a motor vehicle in any marked school zone in this state, when a warning flasher or flashers are in operation, and talk on a hand-held mobile telephone while the vehicle is in motion.
  • (2)  It is a delinquent act for a person under eighteen (18) years of age to knowingly operate a motor vehicle on any road or highway in this state and talk on a mobile telephone that is equipped with a hands-free device while the vehicle is in motion.
  • (3)  This section does not prohibit a person eighteen (18) years of age or older from operating a motor vehicle in any marked school zone in this state, when a warning flasher or flashers are in operation, and talking on a mobile telephone that is equipped with a hands-free device while the vehicle is in motion.

School Buses

If you’re behind a school bus, allow more stopping distance.  It gives you more time to stop once the yellow light starts flashing.

Bus Safety
The Danger Zone is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of being hit. Children should stay ten feet away from the bus (or as far away as they can) and never go behind it. They should take five giant steps in front of the bus before crossing, so they can be seen by the driver.

It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus stopped to load or unload children

Never pass on the right side of the bus, this is the loading and unloading area for children

Meeting a school or church bus – If the red stop warning signal lights are flashing and stop arm is extended, traffic must stop until the stop arm is pulled back and the bus motion resumes

Overtaking a school or church bus- drivers approaching from the rear shall not pass when the red stop warning signal lights are flashing and come to a complete stop until the stop signal arm is pulled in and the bus motion is resumed.

Yellow Flashing Lights – The bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children.  Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop.

Red flashing lights – When the red lights are flashing and stop arm is extended, the bus is stopping to load or unload children.  Motorists should stop and wait until the Red flashing lights are turned off, stop arm is retracted and the bus begins to move again before moving their vehicle.

Special Notes

Driving on a highway with separate roadways for traffic in opposite directions, divided by a median space or barrier not suitable for vehicular traffic (examples 76 Connector and jack Miller Blvd), drivers in opposite direction of travel do not have to stop but should proceed with caution

A turn lane in the middle of a four-lane highway is not considered a barrier.  Drivers meeting a school bus on this type of road would be required to stop in both directions (examples: Ft Campbell Blvd, Providence Blvd, and Tiny Town Rd)

**School Bus violations carry a fine between $250.00 and $1,000 for not stopping for a stopped school bus.  The typical fine is $469.50 and points on your license. 

 Expect Traffic Delays Throughout The School Year in the Following Areas

  • Rossview Road and Campus (Extremely heavy during school hours)
  • East Montgomery Elementary
  • Montgomery Central Campus
  • Dixie Bee Road
  • Trough Springs Road 

To avoid school traffic delays, take alternate routes or plan additional time to arrive at your destination.

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