Mark Roman | September 15, 2023 | Florida Law
Whether you are distracted by your phone or rushing to get to work, speeding through a school zone can have catastrophic consequences. You may be pulled over for speeding and receive a citation. You could injure a student or teacher trying to cross the street. You could even hurt yourself in a collision with a school bus.
It is important to never treat school zone speed limits as suggestions. Even if you do not see any students around, you should always abide by the traffic rules.
Enforcing School Zone Speed Limits
In an effort to further enforce school zone speed limits, HB 657 was signed into law. This bill allows local governments in Florida to use camera enforcement of school zone speed limits.
Beginning July 1, 2023, counties and municipalities were permitted to install camera-equipped radar detection devices in and around schools. These devices target motorists driving 10 mph or more over the posted school zone speed limit.
If you are abiding by the speed limit, the speed detection system will not target you. The cameras will also not target you for running a red light or stop sign in a school zone.
School Zone Speed Limits in Florida
In Florida, school zones are maintained by the state’s Department of Transportation, the county, or a municipality. Regardless of where the school zone is located, no school zone speed limit can be less than 15 miles per hour except by local regulation. In urban areas, the speed limit cannot be more than 20 miles per hour.
School zone speed limits can only be enforced 30 minutes before students arrive, during school hours, and 30 minutes after school is concluded. There should be signs posted in the school zone indicating when the school zone speed limit is being enforced.
Speeding in a School Zone
You may be wondering what happens if you are caught speeding in a school zone via camera enforcement. If the new camera system captures you speeding near a school, you will receive notice of your traffic violation and fines in the mail.
You are required to receive the notice of your violation within 30 days. The notice should include a photo of the vehicle’s license plate, details of when and where the violation occurred, and the speed at which the vehicle was traveling.
If you are caught speeding in a school zone by cameras, you will face a $100 penalty.
Causes of Accidents in School Zones
Accidents occur far too often in school zones. These accidents may be the result of speeding or recklessly operating a vehicle while distracted.
The following are potential causes of accidents in school zones:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Illegal or unsafe turns
- Failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Running a red light
- Failing to stop at a stop sign
- Violating traffic laws
- Fatigued driving
Whether you are rushing to pick your kids up from school or checking emails as you drive, you can easily cause an accident while speeding in a school zone. If you are speeding, you may be caught by cameras and receive a fine, injure a pedestrian, or both.
What To Do if You Are Injured Due To Speeding in a School Zone
If a driver is speeding in a school zone, it can cause major injuries to other motorists, students, parents, and teachers. Florida HB 657 was designed to decrease speeding in school zones, but some motorists may continue to drive recklessly near schools.
While you never expect to be injured during school carpool, knowing what to do can help you be prepared.
The following are steps to take following an accident in a school zone:
- Check for injuries and seek medical attention immediately
- Notify the police and subsequently obtain a police report
- Take pictures and videos of the accident scene, visible injuries, and property damage
- Exchange contact information with the driver
- Obtain the driver’s car insurance information
- Take notes regarding what occurred during the accident
- Gather witness statements and contact information
- Consult with a personal injury attorney before contacting an insurance company
Children are particularly susceptible to major injuries in a speeding accident. It is most important to make sure that everyone gets to safety following a collision.
Common Injuries Resulting From Speeding in a School Zone
Accidents in school zones can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities. Following an accident, you should always allow yourself to be evaluated by a medical professional. It may take time for symptoms to develop after an accident.
The following are common injuries that can result from speeding in a school zone:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Soft tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
If you are involved in an accident in a school zone, you should contact a Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Damages You Can Recover After an Accident in Florida
If you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in a school zone, you may be able to recover compensation.
The following are the types of damages that can be pursued:
- Present medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost income and wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress
A qualified personal injury attorney can help you determine what your case is worth and get you the compensation you need.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
In Florida, you have two years to file a personal injury claim in most cases. If the statute of limitations expires, you will be barred from recovering compensation. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you avoid missing the opportunity to recover damages.
Florida HB 657 may deter some speeding in school zones. However, it is still possible that you may be involved in an accident in a school zone. If you were recently injured as a result of a motorist speeding in a school zone, you should contact a Florida personal injury lawyer for a free case evaluation.
Contact the Florida Personal Injury Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a Personal Injury lawyer in Florida. We have four convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655