Drivers Need To Adjust Driving, Parking As School Year Begins
With the start of the school year drivers will need to make some mild, but crucial adjustments in their driving and parking.
Drive More Carefully
First, simply drive more safely. On the way to or from school, kids walking to school will do dumb things. Things like walking against the light, or crossing a street without looking, and generally not paying attention to put them selves inadvertently in danger.
According to the Safekids.org website, most children are not injured in vehicular accidents at intersections but mid-block because drivers cannot see kids who dart into the street from between two parked vehicles. Keep your eyes open.
Remember, Illinois state law compels drivers to stop at all crosswalks–not just at stop signs and traffic lights–when kids or adults are trying to cross the street.
Drive more carefully. Drive a bit more slowly. Especially around schools.
School Zone Speed Limits
Watch out for school zones and adjust your speed accordingly.
The speed limit in a school zone is 20 mph when children are present.
This means drivers must slow down, when school is in session, where signs are posted and if there are kids around.
If no kids are present, the normal speed limit remains in effect. In most cases, the speed limit is 30 mph.
Buses & Crossing Guards
Pay attention to the crossing guards. With school in session, crossing guards have an important duty to get this city’s children who walk to school, to school and home safely each weekday.
Obey the crossing guard. Be patient. You’ll be on the way soon enough.
But also watch out for school buses.
When a bus is stopped and the red stop sign swings out–motorists must STOP!
Children are either loading on to or unloading from the bus. Give them the time to get off safely and onto the sidewalk.
Parking Around Schools
Be careful parking around schools.
Now that school has started, parking restrictions on streets adjacent to schools is now in effect. Parking is usually restricted from 8 AM to 3 PM or from 7 AM until 4 PM and sometimes even longer.
Drivers shouldn’t be surprised if signs restricting parking times get changed to reflect the longer school days that most CPS schools have embraced this year.
This violation carries a hefty $60 fine.
If you’re dropping off your kids at school, make sure you park legally when doing so. Check with the school where, when and how long you can park for when dropping off or picking up your children.
Don’t double park, park in a crosswalk, near a hydrant or in a no parking zone. Be considerate of others.
When school is in session, traffic is worse.
If you were getting used to the shorter commutes without the school buses and SUV family shuttle services whisking children to school every day, get ready for more traffic and longer time spent in the car.
Add some extra time for your commute, especially to your morning commute during the school year.
UPDATED: 11:45 PM to correct error in fine fee and hours of school zones.