Category Archives: Construction and School Zones

Driving through Indiana school zones | Indiana Work Zone and School Zone Injury Lawyers

Driving Legally in an Indiana School Zone

School zone and construction zone accidents in Indiana can be reduced when the laws for driving within the school zones are understood and obeyedThere are more than thirteen-thousand clauses in Indiana code—a plethora of laws to govern our daily lives. People generally want to obey the laws but in certain rare instances, how people go about the business of complying with motoring laws differs from one day to the next and from driver to driver.
On my way to work in the mornings, I usually drive through several school zones, each clearly marked with signs reducing the speed limits to 25 mph or less. And nearly every day drivers demonstrate their own unique interpretation of school zone laws, although the lead car in the school zone often sets the standard for group compliance.

Reduced speeds protect children from accidents caused by motorists and cyclists

It’s reported that Indiana bipartisan legislators have recognized the need to enforce our school and work zone speeds by renewing their push for installation of speed-detecting cameras that would sense and record license plates of drivers exceeding posted speeds in work or school zones. *Read House Bill 1404. Penalties for exceeding the posted reduced speed would include a $300 fine for the first violation. A repeat violation within five years could lead to a $750 fine and further offenses could be fined up to $1,000.

Senate Bill 398, filed by Senator E. Bassler would allow police to issue tickets if they have probable cause to believe a driver illegally overtook a school bus during engagement of the school bus stop arm. This bill passed committee in February, 2015. Read more here.

*Note: HB 1404 was not passed by the 2015 Indiana General Assembly.

How should you drive through a school zone?

Chapter 5 of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles driving manual has only this to say on the topic of driving through school zones:

School Zone Speed Limits

If you are driving near a school, you must slow down to the lower posted speed limit for the school zone. Common hours for school zone speed limits are 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, local authorities may establish lower speed limits for school zones when children are present.

Here are the facts you should know, in question & answer form, when driving through an Indiana school zone:

Where does the restricted speed of the school zone end?

The sign located at the end of the school zone indicates where you may begin acceleration of the new posted lawful speed. Acceleration should not begin prior to the sign signaling the end of the school zone or the new speed limit sign.

Is a reduction in speed required during school holidays?

Indiana Code Section 9-21-5-6 (f)(3) states:

(f) …a speed limit established under this subsection is valid only if the following conditions exist…

(3) Children are present.

City, township, private, parochial, and year-round school schedules operate on unique calendars. Unless a motorist has children attending the school within the immediate school zone or some knowledge of the school’s calendar, how should the driver proceed through the zone?

Unless you have specific knowledge the school within the zone is not in session, maintain the reduced mandated speed. Ignorance is not a defense recognized by the court. However, IC 9-21-5-6(f)(4) states:

(B) June 30, 2012, if the school operates on a twelve (12) month schedule, there must be a sign indicating that the school is an all year school.

What are the fines and/or penalties for failure to obey the laws?

At the time of this writing, exceeding the speed limit through an Indiana school zone is a Class B Infraction, a civil offense punishable with a fine up to $1,000.00.

Plaintiff personal injury lawyers helping people injured or killed in an accident

Ward & Ward Law Firm has spent more than 85 years representing people and family members who have been killed or injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have settled and litigated a diversity of plaintiff claims involving:

  • Speed Zone Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Bus Accidents
  • Taxi Accidents
  • Ambulance Accidents
  • Truck and Semi Truck Accidents

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501If you or someone you know has been injured or has died in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, give Charlie Ward a call at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your potential legal claim.

By Charlie Ward
Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501
Published 03/06/2015

Avoiding a Bus Stop Tragedy | Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer

Every year hundreds of children in the United States are severally injured or killed as a result of motorists failing to stop for a school bus when the stop arm is extended and red lights flashing | Bus Accident Lawyers

School bus stop signIt is estimated by The American School Bus Council that approximately 500,000 buses provide transportation for children each school year.  In total, 23 million children ride a school bus to and from school every day. Most children are struck in an area around the bus which is known as “the danger zone.” The danger zone is the area around the school bus which is approximately 15 feet from all sides of the school bus.

Motorists need to know what to do when the bus is making preparations to stop and pick up or drop off a child.

When the yellow flashing light comes on it is a warning to all drivers that the bus is preparing to stop. The bus driver will then pull out the stop arms and the flashing lights will turn red.

What is the law?

State laws requires all motorists to stop for school buses when picking up and dropping off children.   Vehicles in all lanes of travel must stop unless the roadway is divided by a physical barrier or unimproved median.  Generally on a divided roadway, only automobiles traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop.

Many time drivers are unaware of the law when it comes to stopping for a school bus.  In addition, driver inattention is likely to be a factor for failing to stop.  Cell phones, texting, distractions within the vehicle and ‘zoning out’  are all factors that contribute to the driver’s inattention putting precious children in danger. In Indiana alone the Department of Education reports that in 2014 around 500,000 vehicles ignored stop arms.

What can be done to minimize or eliminate injuries to children?

North Carolina initiated a test program with the installation and use of stop arm camera systems  to catch drivers who fail to stop as required. This program could go nationwide.  In addition, additional warning lights, such as strobe lights could be added to the red lights to get the attention of distracted drivers.

Educating children on school bus safety for entering the zone of danger

Statistically, children ages 5-7 are the most vulnerable to be severally injured or killed because they are the most inexperienced and may impulsively run when entering or exiting a school bus. Before your young child begins taking the school bus, take the time to discuss safety protocol at the school bus stop and upon entering and exiting the bus.

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers

In the end, drivers must always be aware of school buses and anticipate that a child will enter the roadway. If you or someone you know has been injured or had a child injured because of a negligent driver, give me a call at 317-639-9501. Our firm attorneys are here to help you at any time.

By Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501
 

Accidents at the bus stop may occur when a driver fails to obey the school bus red “stop arm” warning signal”

How Do I Pay My Medical Bills After an Accident?

Overwhelmed by medical bills from my accident – How do I pay my bills?

If you have health insurance, your insurance provider may cover the care you receive from in-network hospitals, doctors and other medical providers. In rare situations where you were taken by ambulance to a hospital that is not in your network, your health insurance may cover the ER bill if you were unable to select an in-network hospital from the scene of the accident. After your health insurance, your medical payment insurance or “med-pay” will help you to pay your medical bills. Check your automobile policy to determine how much med-pay insurance you have.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Lawyer Charlie Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm recommends you purchase as much med-pay insurance as your can afford. Talk with your insurance agent to obtain a quote. Med-pay insurance becomes cheaper the more your purchase. You may be surprised how inexpensive good coverage is when you seek a quote for a higher amount. Remember that medical payment insurance is to your benefit by covering medical bills and medical expenses, i.e. hospital, doctors, radiology, lab work, prescriptions, physical therapy and much more. It can ease the strain of potential economic hardship and/or the loss of your wages after you’ve experienced a wreck or collision.

If you know someone that has been injured in an accident and having trouble paying their medical bills, call attorney, Charlie Ward, today at 317-639-9501.

By Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 639-9501