Schools across Louisiana and Texas are out for the summer, but school zones will still be posted as you approach campuses.

Recently, when school was out, I drove through a school zone in Lafayette and the lights were blinking, indicating the school zone was active when no one was on campus.

I asked myself, do I need to obey the posted speed limit for that designated time, even if students and staff aren't on campus?

So, I asked a local attorney about this and he directed me to his blog on that very subject and question, which you can read HERE. 

What I learned is that school zones are designed to keep everyone safe as students and staff arrive and leave campuses, plus if you're caught speeding in an active school zone the fines can be hefty.


So, what if there is no one on campus? Well, as it turns out, if you aren't sure if school is in session or not, you should probably obey the posted speed limit for that time of the day.

School zones are only active during certain times of the day and those hours are posted on signs as you approach campuses in Louisiana.

Here's what Attorney Richard Kennedy posted in regards to obeying school zones when school is not in session:

"On holidays, weekends, and non-school days during the regular school year, school zone speed limits generally do not apply unless indicated otherwise. It’s always best to observe any operational flashing light signals or specific signage that might override this rule. Some jurisdictions may have different rules, especially if the school zone is near a facility used for year-round events."

I will conclude with a quick reminder that school zones across Louisiana are also "Hand Free Zones" which means you legally cannot be on your phone when driving in the designated zone. Again, this is to keep everyone safe as they arrive or leave campuses.

In all, obey the speed limit posted in school zones and if you are uncertain if anyone is on campus when you drive past it, assume the campus is open and obey the posted speed limit.


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