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School Bus Safety Rules For Drivers In California

How to Drive Safely When Near a School Bus -- Insight From the Best Bus Accident Lawyers

Once the school year starts, it becomes a busy year for students, and even drivers. Traffic becomes common on streets near schools. It is important for drivers to drive safely to prevent any injuries from happening. Two actions must be done in order to reach this objective. You must always slow down and stay alert.

Drop Off

There are specific drop off zones that are available for parents to drop their kids off at school. It is recommended for drivers to be aware of where these drop off zones are to know when to start slowing down when there are children passing the street. Parents must memorize these locations to drop off their children without putting them in harm's way.

Rules that apply to the school zones include:

  • No double parking since it blocks off visibility for children and other drivers. 
  • Do not drop off your child across the street from the school. You are putting them at risk of getting hit by a car operated by a negligent driver.
  • Try to carpool with friends, family, or neighbors to reduce the amount of cars surrounding the school.

Once drivers are within 500 to 1,000 feet near the school while there are children present, the general speed limit needs to be 25 MPH. In some circumstances, it could be set to 15 MPH. In California, if a driver violates the posted speed limit in a school zone, they will be given a School Zone Ticket Penalty.

  • If the driver is caught speeding up to 15 MPH over the posted speed limit, then they will be charged $99.
  • If the driver is caught speeding up to 25 MPH over the posted speed limit, then they will be charged $175.
  • If the driver is caught speeding 26 MPH over or more from the posted speed limit, then they will be charged $350.

Share The Road With Students

To make sure that children are safely walking or crossing the street after getting out of the bus, a driver must:

  • Avoid blocking the crosswalk.
  • Stop and yield when the school zone flashers start blinking.
  • Stop when they see a patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a STOP sign.
  • Stay alert and aware when passing by a school zone to make sure they do not harm or injure any children.
  • Not try to pass a vehicle that is waiting for pedestrians to cross.
  • Regardless of who has the right of way, they should always use caution to avoid striking any individual crossing the street.

Share The Road With School Buses

Here are some helpful tips for drivers when they come across a school bus:

  • Do not make an attempt at passing a bus from behind.
  • If you see yellow or red lights flashing along with an arm extended, then you must stop.
  • Make a stop that is far enough to allow children to safely go in or get out of the bus. It is recommended that you should stop more than 10 feet away from the bus.
  • Be on constant alert when you are driving near or past children getting in or leaving a bus. You never know what they might do.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss  of Enjoyment of Life
  • Other Non-Economic Damanges

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact are only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Limitations For Damages In California

For the most part, there is no real cap on compensatory damages following a personal injury claim. This means that courts are able to award any amount they feel is appropriate and reasonable.

However, the only exception is regarding medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the limit for pain and suffering and other non economic losses is $250,000.

Contact Us

If you are a victim of a bus accident, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced bus accident attorneys that will get you the justice you deserve. Our bus accident attorneys will help you recover financial and emotional compensation for damages you have suffered. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with the attorneys at our firm. No fees are paid until we settle your case. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected]


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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