Today is the beginning of traffic ticket season. Kids are back in school and the tourists are at their peak in South Florida. It is also traffic ticket bonanza day for the police. The first few weeks after Christmas are some of the busiest times for traffic cops all over South Florida. Specifically for cops targeting drivers who speed in school zones and pass school buses.


Speeding in a school zone can be very dangerous. Thus, the penalties for speeding in a school zone traffic tickets are very high. You have gotten used to driving 30 MPH or more over the last few months and may have forgotten where the school zones are located. Well a $400-$700 reminder will help you remember. That is how much you could pay for speeding in a school zone. The problem is that you don’t have to be going very fast to get busted. Since the school zone may be a 10 MPH zone, if you are driving 30 MPH, you have tripled the speed limit. Not only will the cop chew you out, he will give you a $700 traffic ticket. Nobody intentionally speeds where kids are walking. However, it can happen to anyone who forgets that school is now in session. So be careful out there and pay attention. You may even want to send this to a friend as a gentle reminder. Who knows, not only might you save them some money, you could save a life.


Another reminder, now that school buses are back on the road, make sure you make a full stop when you see that stop sign. Florida law requires you to stop when you approach a stopped school bus that displays a stop signal. You must wait until the bus pulls away and retracts the stop signal before you can pass the bus. There is a lot of confusion on the law when driving in the opposite direction of a stopped school bus. The law says that you don’t have to stop while driving in the opposite direction of a stopped school bus with its stop signal on if:

(a) there is an unpaved space at least 5 feet wide between the lanes OR
(b) there is a raised medium between the lanes OR
(c) there is a physical barrier between the lanes.

Like most parents, I am looking forward to my kids going back to school. As a parent who fights traffic tickets for a living, I know the dangers that are out there. So please be careful while driving to work. Remember that the kids in those school zones and on those stopped busses are yours, mine and our neighbors’ kids.


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