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Drivers urged to use caution now that school is back in session

We all know that we should drive carefully and obey New York traffic laws. For the most part, many of us take care to use turn signals, stay below the speed limit and refrain from driving after drinking. But people make mistakes behind the wheel and can end up facing some serious consequences for what may have been a simple lapse in judgment.

Getting a traffic ticket in New York can have a wide range of consequences for drivers. They may lose their license or have to pay huge fines. Sometimes, a driver can even face criminal charges for mistakes they make while driving. But even more serious is the chance of injuring another person as a result of a traffic violation. As our kids head back to school, police in New York are reminding drivers to refocus their efforts on driving safely, especially in school zones.

After a long summer vacation when schoolyards are often empty and quiet, it can be easy for some people to relax their efforts to obey certain laws that are only in effect when school is back in session. This can include slowing down in school zones, watching for pedestrians (especially children) outside of and inside crosswalks and taking care to stop at traffic lights and stop signs.

AAA launches a campaign called "School's Open -- Drive Carefully" every year around this time aimed at reminding drivers to be especially cautious in areas where children are headed to or from school. About 13 percent of the kids heading back to school walk or bike to school and they can be seriously injured in an accident with a motor vehicle. Children do not necessarily understand the dangers of darting out in traffic, forgetting to look both ways before crossing a street or playing around parked vehicles, so drivers are being urged to be extra careful to avoid an accident.

People generally do not set out to break a law or cause an accident, but these things happen all the time. In many cases, a driver may need the help of an attorney if he or she ends up facing serious charges for a traffic-related offense.

Source:, " Police: Watch for children while driving," John Purcell, Sept. 6, 2013