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What are some laws to remember during back to school season?

As summer comes to an end in California, children are headed back to school. While you may be focused on buying school supplies and new school clothes, you also have to plan for how your child will get to and from school each day. Keeping kids safe as they walk to and from school or ride the bus is the responsibility of everyone who is traveling in a school zone. The state has set rules to help ensure safety in these areas.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, school zones have lowered speed limits. Regardless of the posted speed limit, any area within 500 to 1000 feet of a school has a lowered speed limit of 25 mph. In some areas, the speed limit may be 15 mph. This is to help reduce the time that is needed to stop if a child darts into the road unexpectedly and to help children have an easier time judging when to cross the street.

Another important area of law is stopping for school buses. Buses are designed with flashing lights to let you know when to stop. As a bus stops, its lights with flash yellow as a warning and then turn red. You are not allowed to pass a bus that has red lights flashing. You must stop if you are traveling in the same direction as the bus on any roadway. If you are on a divided or multilane road and are traveling the opposite direction, you do not have to stop. On a two-lane road, all traffic must stop. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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