The beginning of the school year, which is not long off, brings about changes in many different places here in Louisiana. This includes the state’s roads. The safety of the state’s students can depend on motorists properly adjusting to these changes. Thus, there are numerous things it is important for Louisiana drivers to be mindful of as the school year starts.

One is that special driving rules apply in Louisiana school zones during the school year. These special rules include a ban on driver handheld phone use in these zones. They can also include special speed limits.

Now, these special rules related to school zones aren’t generally in force all day during the school year, but rather just during specific times of the day. Typically, these times are 7 am to 9 am and 2 pm to 4 pm. However, a driver who goes through a school zone as part of their regular route should check the signs in the zone in question to make sure they know the times specific to that zone.

Another thing it is important for drivers to remember as the school year begins is that school buses will again be out in full force. Drivers should make sure to be aware of and follow the special rules related to driving near school buses, as to lower the likelihood of getting into accidents with a school bus or its student passengers.

Also, drivers need to keep in mind that, during the school year, there could be a high number of kids walking in their neighborhood in the times surrounding school bus pickup and drop-off times. So, when driving in their neighborhood around these times during the school year, it is particularly important for drivers to watch for child pedestrians.

One hopes that, this upcoming school year, all drivers in the state will do what is necessary to protect student safety out on the roads. All the state’s students deserve to be able to go to and from school safely.

Source: KNOE, “Navigating through School Zones safely,” Aaron Cantrell, Aug. 9, 2016