Finding Help Before or After Tragedy Strikes
Coker Law cares about the children of Jacksonville, Florida, and we want to help you protect them. School zone pedestrian accidents are often the responsibility of neglegent drivers and vehicle owners, and they can be devastating. In this article, we will explore how you can avoid school zone pedestrian accidents and what to do if your child has been injured.
If your child was the victim of a school zone pedestrian accident, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
What are the Laws for School Zones in Jacksonville, FL?
The traffic laws specific to school zones in Jacksonville are set by Florida statutes, and state that:
- a school zone must be between 15 and 20 miles per hour (§316.1895.5);
- a school zone can only be in force during school and for 30 minutes before and after session (§316.1895.5);
- permanent signs must be erected, maintained, and meet specific requirements (§316.1895.6)
- texting or manually operating a mobile device while driving is prohibited on all public roads (§316.305), and specifically in school zones (§316.306);
- and other common traffic offenses committed in school zones, such as rolling stops or run stop signs.
Unfortunately, following these laws do not prevent all types of negligent school zone pedestrian accidents. Some accidents occur due to inattentive drivers of legally moving and parked vehicles. For example, a small pedestrian can still be injured at 15 miles per hour. In addition, many children travel to and from school at times outside the reduced speed limit.
The New Law to Stop Speeding in School Zones
As of July first of this year, counties and local governments will be allowed to install cameras in school zones. Florida Politics reported on the new law, stating that the cameras will be equipped with radar speed detectors. A speeder is automatically captured on camera and issued a $100 fine.
Unfortunately, this is a drop in the bucket for many Jacksonville drivers, and therefore not very discouraging for some.
What Causes School Zone Pedestrian Accidents?
There are several neglectful acts that can cause school zone pedestrian accidents, even when people are obeying the law.
- A child is struck by a car door from a legally parked car with a negligent driver or passenger.
- A driver is distracted by something other than their phone.
- A cyclist strikes a child. Note that riding a bike on the sidewalk is prohibited by Jacksonville ordinance §804.908.
- A child is injured from being in the blind spot of a vehicle stopped just over the cross walk.
Avoiding these school zone pedestrian accidents are the responsibility of drivers, crossing guards, and other adults in the area. Children should be alert, but they are children and easily distracted. It is up to drivers, cyclists, and others to ensure their safety.
How We Can All Work Together to Stay Safe in School Zones
The responsibility for the safety of children in school zones lies with many, and there are things we can all do to help keep children safe.
As a parent, you can keep your child safe in school zones by:
- educating them on the dangers present by negligent adults,
- educating them on how to conduct themselves in a school zone,
- and making transportation arrangements outside of school zone hours when possible.
Another way to keep school zones safe is to hold violators and negligent drivers accountable. The current laws only penalize those who cannot truly afford the fines and penalties. Meanwhile, an injured child has medical bills, copays, and expensive needs that increase the stress on the family.
How Duval County is Making School Zones Safer
Some Duval County Public School zones will be assigned a traffic safety officer. According to Channel 4’s report of the new rule, the initiative began this year with five schools.
The 5 schools that have a traffic control officer in Jacksonville, Florida are:
- Holiday Hill Elementary
- R.L. Brown Elementary
- Ruth Upson Elementary
- Sadie Ellis Elementary
- Westview K-8
This new initiative should help slow down drivers and increase the safety of children in our community.
How to Receive Damages After a School Zone Pedestrian Accident
It is important that you are reimbursed for medical and care expenses associated with your child’s injury. There may be additional costs for educational accommodations depending on the injuries sustained. You may be entitled to other compensation as well.
The best way to receive damages after a school zone pedestrian accident is to talk to an experienced attorney. Our attorneys have been winning pedestrian accident cases for 40 years. We can review your case and determine approximately what, if any, compensation you are due.
Let Us Help Your Family After Tragedy Strikes
If your child was killed or injured in a school zone pedestrian accident, we want to help. No child should go through this suffering alone, and no parent should have the related financial struggle. Our experienced attorneys are available for a free consultation Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Contact us today at (904) 356-6071 to schedule.