School Zone Laws: Accidents in New York

You’re driving through a school zone on a weekday morning, a cup of coffee in the cup holder, mentally prepping for a hectic day ahead. Suddenly, the car in front of you stops short to let a child cross. You slam on your brakes, barely avoiding an accident. It’s a harrowing experience and serves as a stark reminder of the crucial role that school zone laws play in our communities. This blog aims to delve into the intricacies of school zone laws in New York and shed light on the alarming number of accidents that occur within these zones.

The Importance of School Zone Laws

School zones are not just strips of road with reduced speed limits; they’re safety nets for children, teachers, and parents. In New York, these zones often have speed limits ranging from 15 to 20 mph and are marked by bright yellow signs. Breaking the speed limit in these zones can result in hefty fines, not to mention the increased risk of accidents.

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, over 300 pedestrians under the age of 19 were injured in school zones in 2020 alone. These statistics highlight the urgency for better compliance and understanding of school zone laws.

What are the Common Causes of School Zone Accidents?

The most common causes of school zone accidents are:

Speeding: Speeding is the leading cause of school zone accidents. Drivers who speed are more likely to lose control of their vehicles and hit pedestrians or other vehicles.

Distracted driving: Distracted driving is another leading cause of school zone accidents. Drivers who are distracted by their cell phones, other passengers, or other things are more likely to miss pedestrians or other vehicles.

Failure to yield to pedestrians: Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. However, many drivers fail to do so, which can lead to accidents.

Children darting into the street: Children can be unpredictable, and they may sometimes dart into the street without looking. Drivers need to be aware of this and be prepared to stop at a moment’s notice.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Ignoring the laws designed to protect our children has severe consequences. Drivers caught speeding in New York school zones can face fines ranging from $90 to $600, not to mention the possibility of imprisonment for up to 30 days (New York Vehicle & Traffic Law, Article 29, Section 1180). In the event of an accident, the implications are far graver. Criminal charges can be pressed, and civil lawsuits can be filed for personal injuries.

If you find yourself in such an unfortunate circumstance, availing the services of Glen A. Kurtis, P.C., can be invaluable. With experience in dealing with car accident cases, having legal counsel is crucial for navigating these complex matters.

Liability and Insurance

New York is a “no-fault” state when it comes to car insurance. This means that your insurance company will cover your injury expenses irrespective of who was at fault in the accident. However, if you’re speeding in a school zone and cause an accident, you could face surcharges on your insurance premium. Plus, a no-fault system doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for personal injury lawsuits, particularly when grievous harm or death occurs.

Secure Your Peace of Mind with Glen A. Kurtis, P.C.

School zones are designed with safety in mind, but accidents still happen, even in the seemingly safest areas. Whether you’re a driver who’s had a near-miss experience or a parent concerned about your child’s safety, understanding the impact and scope of school zone laws is vital.

If you’ve been involved in an accident in a New York school zone, the gravity of the situation requires immediate and skilled legal action. As a Westchester personal injury lawyer, Glen A. Kurtis, P.C., has the experience and knowledge to guide you through the maze of legal procedures that follow such incidents.

No matter if you’re looking for a car accident lawyer in White Plains, NY, or dealing with a motorcycle accident, it’s crucial to have someone who understands the nuances of New York law on your side.

So don’t leave things to chance. Seek out a personal injury lawyer who can navigate the complexities of New York law, helping you gain the justice and peace of mind you deserve. Reach out to Glen A. Kurtis, P.C., for a consultation today.