Get ready: Time to sharpen your mental pencil and sharpen your commitment to driving safely. Lucky for you, this quiz is multiple choice and true/false — no essay answers required. 

Question 1: What’s the most important thing you should do when driving in and around a marked school zone? 

  1. Be aware of school zones.
  2. Ignore distractions, including your cell phone, coffee cup, radio, etc. 
  3. Respect every school zone speed limit, whether permanently or temporarily posted using portable signs.
  4. Understand and follow the traffic laws. 
  5. All of the above. 

Answer: e. All of the above. 

That’s right: Being aware, alert and in-the-know is crucial to student safety. Always remember that you’re driving a large vehicle around small children, who can move unpredictably, be difficult to see, and who may not be watching traffic. 

Question 2: As a driver, what actions should you take when approaching and driving through a school zone? 

  1. Slow down and be alert for children walking, running, bicycling, scootering or otherwise traveling on the sidewalk or street. 
  2. Be aware that children may dart into the road unpredictably. 
  3. Be attentive to and obey the signals of any crossing guard or traffic officer.
  4. Observe the posted speed limit.
  5. All of the above

Answer: e. All of the above

Children and other pedestrians in a school zone will be moving at different speeds and in different traffic patterns. It’s up to you as a vehicle driver to keep the safety of everyone in the area as your top priority. Stop when children are crossing the street, and always follow the directions of the crossing guard or other individual directing traffic. 

Question 4: TRUE OR FALSE — When a school bus’s lights are flashing red, it’s OK to drive around or pass by the bus, as long as you do it slowly.  

Answer: FALSE

When the lights of a school bus are flashing red, that means the school bus is loading and unloading children. The bus driver will also extend a two-sided “STOP” sign from the side of the bus. You must stop your car at a safe distance from the bus and wait for the driver to withdraw the sign and resume driving before you can continue driving. This applies even if you are traveling in the opposite direction of the bus. 

Never pass or drive by a stopped school bus with the “STOP” sign extended. Children may dart around or in front of the bus. 

Question 5: When the lights of a school bus are flashing yellow, you should do the following: 

  1. Stop immediately.
  2. Slow down and prepare to stop.
  3. Drive as quickly as you can around the bus, so you don’t have to stop.

Answer: b. Slow down and prepare to stop.

Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus driver is getting ready to load or unload children. You should slow your speed considerably, proceed with caution, and watch for the red flashing lights and the “STOP” sign to be extended from the side of the bus. 

Stop your vehicle when the lights change from flashing yellow to flashing red, and when the “STOP” sign is extended. Again, no matter which side of the street you’re on, don’t pass or drive by a stopped school bus with the “STOP” sign extended.

Question 6: In a 15 miles-per-hour zone, you will not receive a citation if you: 

  1. Drive 16 or 17 mph — it’s ok to go a little over the posted speed limit.
  2. Drive exactly 15 mph.
  3. Drive the usual posted speed limit if no children are around, even if the 15 mph signs are displayed. 
  4. Drive with the flow of traffic, even if drivers around you are going above 15 mph. 

Answer: b. Drive 15 mph

There is zero tolerance in a zone with a posted speed limit of 15 mph. You can be cited for going just one mile over the speed limit, whether or not school is not in session and whether or not children are traveling to and from school. The limit is the limit, regardless of what other drivers are doing.

Question 7: TRUE OR FALSE — It’s illegal to pass or overtake another vehicle while driving in a school zone. 

Answer: TRUE

You’re not permitted to pass in a 15 mph school zone, even if another vehicle is traveling at speeds less than 15 mph. If your vehicle’s bumper passes another vehicle’s bumper and both vehicles are traveling in the same direction, that’s considered passing, and you could get a ticket. 

Being a patient, alert, and law-observing driver will keep kids safe this school year. If you’d like to brush up on your safe-driving skills or understand Arizona driving laws better, contact us to learn about our different programs and classes.