Welcome Back to School

Anyone who drives through Conshohocken or, for that matter, drives through Montgomery or Delaware Counties, will know that school is open once again. Those relatively light and very enjoyable summer traffic patterns are gone. Heavy traffic, grid lock and terribly rude drivers are back. The drivers who do not add time for the lengthier commute, the ones who do not want to be late once again for work – – you know who you are – – are most likely to get the tickets.

Specifically, there is no doubt that police departments throughout this area will be enforcing various traffic regulations pertaining to the safety of our school children. Very simply, you must obey the speed limits in school zones. Furthermore, you must obey the speed limit throughout the length of the school zone, if you stop for a stop sign or red light in the middle of a school zone, remember that when it is your turn to go, go slowly.

Likewise, there are simple rules to follow regarding school buses. When a school bus driver is about to make a stop to pick up or discharge children, the driver will first activate an amber signal somewhere between 150 feet and 300 feet before the designated stop. A driver can proceed past a school bus while its amber lights are flashing but the driver must pass with caution and must be prepared to stop. When the school bus comes to a stop to receive or discharge children, the red lights on the bus will be activated and drivers of vehicles meeting or overtaking any school bus stopped on a highway must stop at least 10 feet before reaching the school bus. You may not proceed until the lights are no longer activated and even then, you cannot start driving again until any school children who were discharged have reached a place of safety. If a school bus is on a separate roadway on a divided highway, you do not have to stop but there are very few examples of that situation in our local community.

Therefore eliminate some stress, give yourself a few extra minutes and remember to obey the school zone speed limits and stop when you see the red flashing lights on a school bus. I apologize for this lecture but I was trying to imagine what it would be like to drive a school bus . They are probably hard to drive especially on some of our smaller streets, they are filled with 40 or 50 children who are certainly rather loud, parents probably complain if the driver gets to a stop too early or too late and motorists often cut them off to avoid getting stuck behind them. Let’s give school bus drivers a break and let’s be careful out there.

John A. Orlando, Esquire can be reached in his office at 115 Fayette Street, by phone at (610) 897-2576 or by email at orlandoj@whiteandwilliams.com. Please visit our website at www.thepanjinjurylawyers.com.