There is a lot of preparation that goes into starting a new school year. We buy our little ones school supplies, new uniforms, and lunch box goodies. Another great way to prepare is to brush up on the Louisiana traffic laws dealing with school transportation. This is important because distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents and injuries surrounding schools. In fact, the Transportation Research Board has found that 25,000 children are injured annually while walking to or from school. To keep our babies safe, let’s refresh ourselves on the rules on school roads.
Slow Down in School Zones
Louisiana law places a speed limit of 20 mph in school zones. Although, some schools have posted lower speed limits such as 15 mph. The school zone speed limit may either be the entire day during school hours or at designated drop-off and pick-up times, such as 7:00-9:00 and 2:00-4:00. Pay close attention to the posted school zone signs for the speed limit and time designation, and do not accelerate your speed until you see the posted sign ending the school zone.
There is no passing or overtaking permitted in school zones. Even if you think you are just driving around a stopped vehicle in line, this is impermissible.
No Cell Phone Zone
School zones are hands-free zones. There is no texting or talking in a school zone, but you may use a hands-free device to take a phone call.
Stop for School Buses
You must stop thirty feet (two car lengths) away from a stopped school bus with its lights on and stop sign out indicating unloading or loading. This applies to a two-lane highway and vehicles traveling in either direction.
You cannot proceed until the bus resumes motion, and a bus driver is authorized to notify the police of this law violation.
If the bus is stopped in the opposite direction of a roadway that is separated by a grassy median or concrete median, you do not have to stop.
However, on a four or five-lane highway that does not have any barriers, you must stop for the school bus.
If the highway is one with a center turning lane and two travel lanes on each side, only traffic moving in the same direction as the bus is required to stop.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation created a helpful graphic for these rules: