Just a few more weeks and kids are going back to school. I remember when I was a kid. Summer breaks were longer. And when it was time to go back to school, my mom would take us school shopping and buy us all new clothes and school supplies. That way she would trick us into being excited about going back to school. The truth is, I fell for it every time. And it wouldn’t hit me until about halfway through the first period, when I’d find myself wondering why the word school isn’t a four-letter word? With schools being open for business and child safety, those good old school zone laws will be in effect. So, remember, look out for kids…they’ll dart right out in front of you. When I was a kid, there were no school zones, we didn’t have to wear seat belts and we didn’t have to be restrained in a car seat either. These days, there are big fines imposed for these types of violations. We weren’t as important as kids are today. Especially the private school kids. Those kids are really special. They even have seat belts in their school buses.
Be sure to observe the school zone hours which are posted. If you see a police officer writing someone a ticket in the school zone and you are going to be passing in the lane right next to them, slow down even more for their safety, so you don’t find yourself getting a ticket or having to take a defensive driving class in Texas, and look out for kids darting across the street. No talking on the phone, texting your BFF or playing your Gameboy while you’re driving through a school zone.

Don’t let anything or anyone distract you. And, when you see a stopped school bus with it’s alternating red flashing lights on, make sure you know what to do. If the bus is on the opposite side of the road, going the opposite direction, and there is a true, solid median dividing the road (one with grass, gravel, trees or cement…with no split or divide in that median), you do not have to stop for the bus. The only time you must stop for the bus on the other side is if there is a split or divide in that median (where you can turn in or out from), or if there is no median at all (i.e. there is just a painted line separating the road). The fine on that side of the road, at least here in Texas, is currently running around $768. And, if the bus is stopped on your side of the road, in the same scenario, you have to stop behind the bus. I have been told that the fine for not stopping for a bus on your side of the road, again, here in Texas, is currently running around $1500. They call it “overtaking a school bus.” The new school buses I have seen now have a camera attached to the bus, directly behind the stop sign that pops out by the bus driver. So now they’ve got you on film and don’t just have to take the bus driver’s word for it. And you don’t want to be in that Kodak moment.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson

Look Out For Kids – Comedy Defensive Driving