We’ve all seen the signs in school zones that read “25 mph When Children are Present.” Hopefully, we all drive a little more cautiously and attentively in those areas. However, when does “when children are present” apply? Is it all times in the school zone? The simple answer is no.

The Superior Court of New Jersey has determined the lower speed limit in a school zone only applies (1) during school hours, but only during recess, when children are clearly visible from the roadway, or (2) when children are going to or leaving school during opening or closing hours of school. (See State v. Beierle, 325 N.J. Super. 395 (1999).) The reduced school zone speed limit does not apply outside of these times. Needless to say, it’s always a good idea to be on the lookout while driving in school zones.

It’s also a good idea to be mindful of parking in permitted spots. Our law firm has handled cases in which children have been struck by motor vehicles due in part to another vehicle being illegally parked. So, I don’t want to hear the excuse of “I was only parking there for a minute.”

According to N.J.S.A 39:4-138, parking is not permitted:
• within an intersection;
• on a crosswalk;
• within 50 feet of a “stop” sign; or
• within 25 feet of the nearest crosswalk or side line of a street or intersecting highway or
within 10 feet of the nearest crosswalk or side line of a street or intersecting highway, if
a curb extension or bulb-out has been constructed at that crosswalk.

Drive safely!
By: Michael Raff, Esq.