DENVER – With school districts around Colorado heading back to school this month, drivers will begin encountering crowds of kids walking and crossing local streets for the first time in months.
With that in mind, drivers should pay extra close attention to the rules of the road.
The rules for school zones – reduced speed limits and times of day during which the limits apply – can vary by local jurisdiction and some streets may have different restrictions based on the nature of the road, so it’s important to pay attention to posted signs.
If you’re caught speeding in a school zone, the fine may also vary depending on the jurisdiction, but be prepared to pay double what you would normally have to for driving over the speed limit.
Even if a school zone isn’t specifically marked, the Colorado Driver Handbook states that drivers should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in all conditions. Pedestrians automatically have the right-of-way at all intersections and crosswalks, even those that aren’t marked.
Outside of school zones, it’s important to watch for buses as they pick up and drop off students. In most cases, drivers are required to stop at least 20 feet from any school bus that has its flashing red lights on, regardless of which side of the street the bus is on. You don’t have to stop if the bus is going in the opposite direction and is separated by a physical barrier, such as a median.