School house doors are opening in many Alabama cities today, and that means very different traffic patterns for drivers. It is easy to enjoy the lighter traffic during summer break, but it means you will have to adjust your driving patterns as more traffic hits the roads during the morning and afternoon hours.
Not only will school buses hit the roads once again, but school zone speed limits will go back into effect. For your own safety and that of the school children, it is important to understand the rules regarding both of these changes.
It can be confusing for drivers as to when you are required to stop for a school bus. If a bus is stopped and picking up passengers on a roadway, both lanes of traffic are required to stop and wait for the bus to load or unload before proceeding. You must remain stopped until the school bus resumes moving. This is Alabama law. Failure to do this can result in a stiff fine of $300 for a first offense.
If a school bus is stopping on a divided highway with four or more lanes, however, the drivers on the opposite side of the road from the school bus are not required to stop. Of course, if you are on the same side of the road with the school bus, you must always stop.
The laws regarding school zone speed limits are very cut and dried. All roadways that fall within 300 feet of a school property are considered school zones with reduced speed limits. Flashing lights will usually be in place to help remind you that you are approaching, or are driving through a school zone.
If you are caught speeding in a school zone, your fine will be double that of a regular speeding ticket.
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.