School Zone Safety
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, on average, 17 school-aged children die in school transportation-related crashes each year. To help ensure that kids arrive to and from school safely it is essential that motorists and pedestrians alike adhere to rules of the road.
Reminders for Drivers:
When approaching a marked school zone between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on days when school is in session and when children are present, a driver must:
- Yield to any children or adults crossing in the crosswalk area.
- Drivers must stop and wait for a stopped school bus that is loading and unloading.
- Reduce vehicle speed to 20 mph. Speeding in a school zone could result in a $150 fine for the first violation and a minimum $300 fine for second or subsequent violations. If a motorist causes great bodily injury to a child or a crossing guard in a school zone, they could go to jail and be fined up to $25,000.
- When transporting children, they should always ride in the back seat. Children in the front seat are 40% more likely to be injured in crashes.
Pedestrians and Bus Riders:
- Pedestrians 10-years-old and younger should be accompanied by an adult or young adult on their way to and from school.
- When crossing the street, look left-right-left for cars. Do not cross if a car is coming.
- Pedestrians should access the roadway at designated intersections and crosswalks. Leave the curb or place of safety only when you have the right of way.
- Walk on the sidewalk. If there is none, walk facing traffic.
- When waiting on the school bus, wait five giant steps back from the road. When the school bus arrives, wait until the driver says to board.
- When exiting the bus, look out for cars. When exiting, take five giant steps away from the bus. Look left-right-left to make sure no cars are coming and wait for the driver to signal it’s safe to cross.
Champaign Police routinely monitor vehicle traffic at or near school zones to ensure the safety of children and to ensure that motorists are complying with school zone rules of the road.
For more safety tips and to reinforce pedestrian, bicycle, school bus and/or public transportation safety habits, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.