If you don’t have kids, the laws that apply to Texas school zones might not be at the forefront of your thoughts, but it benefits everyone to know the laws. You’ll not only be better prepared to look out for the safety of little ones and drive defensively, but you’ll also avoid getting a ticket in one of those special speeding zones.
Here are some of the major Texas school zone laws you should be aware of:
- Speed limits: Generally, Texas speed limits are enumerated in the Texas Transportation Code, Section 545.352. Usually a city-wide speed limit tops out at 30 mph, and school zones are set at 25 mph. Highways range from 60 to 70 mph. However, this can vary, because the code offers municipalities the option to change the limits depending on local needs. In fact, a school zone speed limit can be as low as 15 mph. This might seem impossibly slow, but when you weigh the risks against the goal of protecting children, it isn’t quite so inconvenient.
- Speeding in school crossing zones: No one really wants to slow down in Texas school zones, especially if they think school isn’t in session—but with the proliferation of before- and after-school activities, school campuses are a hubbub of activity at all hours. Texas imposes increased speeding fines on drivers caught abusing the speed limit in a school zone. (These additional fees are designed to go back into the school system to promote safety in school zones, among other noble causes.) They can start at $25, but in cities like Austin, you might be looking at an over $200 fine.
- Cell phones are prohibited in school zones: Finally, if you’re on the phone when you’re in a school zone, hang up. HB 347 prevents using a cell phone while in a school zone, which includes elementary, middle and high school campuses along with any other area the authorities have deemed a school zone. Hands-free devices, cars that are stopped (not just at a stoplight!) and emergency services are exempt from the law.
Ultimately, speeding through school zones is not worth it. The risk of hitting and injuring a small child—or worse—is unthinkable. Avoid the devastation, legal repercussions and guilt by following all Texas school zone traffic laws to the best of your ability. If, however, you find yourself or your loved ones affected by a school zone crossing accident, you should hire an attorney at once.
Consult with an experienced attorney in Lubbock, TX
If you’re confused about Texas school zone traffic laws and the impact that they may have on your particular case, contact the Law Office of Rob Biggers. Our West Texas law firm believes in our local values as well as the value of expert legal representation. We handle a wide range of legal situations, specializing in family law, criminal law and DUI/DWI cases. Our goal is to get the best possible legal outcome for our clients while providing an unparalleled level of client service.
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