The following “School Zone Safety” article was submitted for your review. The Lyme Police Department has been struggling with a high number of unsafe activities occurring in our school’s safety zone.
Winter months add some additional challenges to this busy area as the high snow banks prevent motorists from properly parking their vehicles out of the travel lane and cause unsafe unloading on the traffic side. At a time when motorists would have greater difficulties making sudden evasive maneuvers due to road conditions, many of you are putting yourselves and your children in harm’s way. It takes more time to bring a vehicle to a stop when the road surface is wet, snow or ice covered. Visibility is poor and some motorists fail to clear their windows of snow and ice, a risky behavior that jeopardizes the safety of all of us.
The best place to complete the safe drop-off of your child is in the driveway loop. It is important to get there before the busses.
(BEFORE 8 AM) This area becomes too congested because most of you are arriving at the same time. If you must drop off your child, Please come earlier. You CAN NOT stop in the travel lane to wait for the driveway to clear.
The SAFEST WAY TO GET TO SCHOOL is by RIDING THE BUS. Not only is it the safest way to get to school, it’s the “greenest” way. I’ve noticed several families come down into the school zone, drop their child out front, drive two houses south and then turn around to travel back home? Why not allow your child to ride the bus? Bus riding promotes a sense of independence and a social experience that allows a child to prepare for the day ahead or unwind from the school day. You would save on fuel and save the environment by preventing a significant amount of emissions from the exhaust created during the vehicle’s warm-up, travel and idle in traffic time. There is a designated bus stop for every child, to find out where your stop is contact the school principal. Together we can create a safer community.
School Zone Safety
The Lyme School zone is that portion of Rt. 10 (Main Street, Union Street) that is marked by road marking and signs. Here are some motor vehicle laws that pertain to safety in and around the school zone.
School Zone Speed Limit:
The posted speed in this area is 30 MPH and in accordance with RSA 265:60, II (a), the speed in a posted school zone is 10 miles per hour below the usual posted limit from 45 minutes prior to each school opening until each school opening and from each school closing until 45 minutes after each school closing. The school zone speed in this area is 20 MPH from 7:30 AM until 8:15 AM and 3:00 PM until 3:45 PM (except Thursday when the school closes at 2:00 PM).
Pedestrians & the Crosswalk:
The safest place to cross the street is at the crosswalk. Motorists are expecting to see you there. Pedestrians that cross the roadway in an area not designated for crossing…MUST YIELD TO TRAFFIC. (RSA 265:35-Pedestrian’s Right of Way in a Crosswalk; RSA 265:36-Crossing at Other than Crosswalks; RSA 265:39-Pedestrians on Roadway; RSA 265:37-Drivers to Exercise Due Care)
Unloading of Passengers:
RSA 265:96-No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
Standing, Stopping, & Parking:
Some of the noteworthy parking issues in the school zone, include: RSA 265:69-No Standing, Stopping, or Parking- on or within 20 feet of the crosswalk; where signs are posted that prohibit parking; in front of a public or private driveway; RSA 265:68-blocking any portion of the travel lane; and RSA 265:71-where stopping or parking is authorized-the vehicle shall be parked with the right-hand wheels of such vehicle parallel to the right-hand side of road (facing the direction of the flow of traffic)
RSA 265:95-No person shall drive with any sign, poster, sticker, or other nontransparent material (including snow or ice) upon or adjacent to the front windshield, side wings, or side or rear windows of such vehicle which shall obstruct the driver’s clear view of the way or any intersecting way.
Proper Use of Seatbelts:
RSA 265:107-a – Drivers or passengers less then 18 years of age must wear a seat or safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened. Passengers that are less then 6 years old (and are less then 55 inches in height) must be properly fastened and secured by a child restraint system. The terms “properly adjusted and fastened” and “properly fastened and secured” mean that the straps are where they are supposed to be and the passenger is held in a proper seat position. Your child should not be strapped in wearing a backpack or with the shoulder strap behind his/her back.