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Since school is back on, you may already have had to stop or slow down for a school bus or a school zone speed limit.  Hitting a school kid with your car would be an unspeakable tragedy for their family and yours.  If you know the rules and stick to them, you’ll greatly reduce the odds of this happening. 

The first tactic here is to avoid the situation altogether.  If driving 25 miles per hour and paying special attention to kids on the road seems like an unbelievable inconvenience, it might be time to go adopt driving routes that have you go around school zones (usually 1,000 feet from the school).  Or you can get to work before the school zone reduced speed limits go into effect (usually starting one-half hour before school begins and ending one-half hour after).

If you find yourself in a school zone, stay alert, slow down, watch for kids and follow the rules.  First, please put your cell phones down in a school zone!  Someone has to be the adult – and since you’re the person driving, that’s you!  Do not expect school kids to watch for your car.  It’s not like kids have become less distracted over the summer.  They might not even see you.  Even big college kids seem oblivious to cars.  Been to Ann Arbor during school season lately?  You’d think you were driving an invisible car.  Unreal. 

Watch for the red flashers on school buses.  The law says you need to stop at least 20 feet away from a bus with its flasher sign on, and you don’t very carefully pass until the flasher sign stops flashing.  There are now cameras attached to these signs that are recording you.  These recordings can result in your conviction if you disregard the flashing sign. 

Parents, if your child is injured by an impatient driver, your auto policy’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is where the money will come from to cover the medical costs.  Please tell me you have Unlimited PIP.  Unlimited PIP pays as long as your child is incurring medical costs from the accident – even for the rest of their life.  If you’ve given up unlimited PIP, get it back.  Do it for your kid(s).