What are the school zone rules during virtual learning?

Local News

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – School is already in session in Ohio and is expected to restart in West Virginia next week. That means it’s time for school zone rules to return as well.

But what if the lights are flashing even though you know the school has only remote learning, and no students are in class? If that is the case, the rules don’t apply.

“If a school is on a virtual learning detail and lights are flashing, if there are no students then it’s not enforceable,” said Lt. John Garten, Charleston Police Department.

In Charleston, traffic engineers are supposed to check if the lights are turned off at school zones unless students are back. However, if you’re unsure, it’s important to be extra cautious.

“We’re advising motorists like we normally would this time of year to be extra cautious when driving through school zones. Maybe even more cautious because you may find yourself in a school zone with no buses and think nothing of it. But then, before you know it, you may be in one where there’s students crossing the road trying to get to buses,” explained Jim Garrity, spokesperson for AAA.

With school out of session for six months, drivers may have forgotten the traffic that comes with going back to school. So, it’s important to plan ahead.

“When you’re running late to something, it definitely puts you in a different mindset and that can cloud your judgment,” Garrity said.

The same goes for school buses. Even if your district is remote, following school bus rules still applies everywhere.

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