From January to June 2013, the state of New Jersey saw 68 pedestrian accidents, according to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association. One age group at risk for being involved in a pedestrian accident is children. School zones can be a particularly dangerous place as children arrive or depart school each day. As such, New Jersey has special laws for driving in school zones.
Rules for Driving in a School Zone
Unless otherwise marked, the school zone speed limit in the state of New Jersey is 25 miles per hour. The lower speed may allow drivers to react quicker to children who might wander into the road. Additionally, driving slowly through any area with a heavy presence of pedestrians can reduce the risk of an accident.
Stopping for pedestrians in all parts of New Jersey is important. But in a school zone, it can be even more critical to keep young ones safe. In New Jersey, a motor vehicle must stop for a pedestrian in any crosswalk and must stay stopped until the pedestrian has safely made it to the other side of the road. So any driver who violates crosswalk laws in a school zone could face penalties.
Other School Zone Violations
Driving through a school zone carries major consequences for drivers with a suspended license.
Those who drive through a school zone (or within 1,000 feet of a school zone) with a suspended license could face additional penalties.
- One to two years additional suspension time
- A $500 fine
- Between 60 and 90 days imprisonment
- Subsequent violations can lead to more severe penalties
Another serious school zone violation is drinking and driving and failing to submit to a chemical test while driving on school property, in a school zone, or within 1,000 feet of school property.
A motorist who fails to submit to a chemical test while in a school zone will face the following.
- $600 to $1,000 fine
- A one- to two-year license suspension
- Additional violations carry heavier penalties
Liability for a Pedestrian Accident within a School Zone
Parents whose child suffered injuries because of a negligent driver in a school zone can recover compensation for damages. The claimant or plaintiff must establish that the driver was negligent (such as speeding or failing to yield to a pedestrian) and caused the accident and subsequent injuries.
The statute of limitations for an injury lawsuit in New Jersey is two years, so parents should speak with an attorney about their case shortly after the accident. Meanwhile, the statute of limitations may not begin to toll for the child’s injury claim until she turns 18.
If you’re the parent of a child injured by a negligent motorist in Trenton, call the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC. We can help you file a claim for damages. To get started, call our offices now at 215-642-2335 or contact us online.