speeding ticket

Traffic Signals in School Zones

As traffic lights became more widespread on American roads through the 1930s and ‘40s, they inevitably were placed at intersections where either: a) traffic was so congested that lights were absolutely necessary to keep it moving, or, b) pedestrian safety was at a premium, either due to the large number of walkers or the large number of motorists, or both.

As a result, the streets near schools soon saw a variety of traffic lights installed on them to keep children aged 5-18 safe from onrushing vehicles. Early in this city planning, an infamous diamond-shaped sign with flashing yellow lights was created to alert motorists that they had entered a special school zone.

These zones are infamous for several reasons:

• They are not always noticeable. It is very easy to drive by such school zone warning signs, even when they have a flashing yellow signal attached, which might or might not be activated.

• They often feature a drastic reduction of the speed limit, making it difficult for motorists to brake accordingly in compliance with the zone’s limit (often 25 mph).

• They often feature cameras to add another layer of protection for children walking in school zones. The problem is that the cameras do not function only during school hours. They will record excessive speed long after a school is closed, no matter what the sign says about the applicability of the lower speed limit.

• They often have signs that are extremely hard to read. It can be impossible to notate all of the applicable school hours during which the safety zone speed limit applies.

• As a third layer of security for schoolchildren, many states are now imposing a double fine for motorists that do not stop at crosswalks that are in school speed zones.

• They run up to 100 yards away from any given school, meaning that the changed speed limit applies long before you notice a school or children. Some zones are even larger if traffic engineers deem the area to have heavy pedestrian use by schoolchildren, augmenting the challenge to drivers.

All of these school speed zone challenges make for busy days at the office of the local traffic ticket attorney. The average traffic ticket lawyer gains a large share of his/her business by helping clients to fight speeding tickets and other offenses that occur in school speed zone areas. Many motorists have no idea that they are in a school speed zone and that they have exceeded the speed limit by 15mph or more.

That ignorance of being in a school zone can be hard to explain, but the best  speeding ticket lawyers will often highlight the deceptiveness of the signage in school zone areas. The best advice that a traffic ticket attorney can give to an motorist that wants to avoid a ticket of any sort in a school speed zone is to automatically slow down whenever s/he views a yellow diamond sign, and to assume that a lower speed limit is in effect no matter what time of day it is or whether the yellow lights are flashing or not.

If you have received a traffic ticket, please contact an experienced speeding ticket lawyers. Protect your right to drive legally

Posted in PA | Tags: , ,
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