Driving Safety Near a School or School Bus

Driving near a school or a school bus can be dangerous if motorists don’t take proper precautions to ensure not just their own safety, but the safety of children in the vicinity. Here’s a guide to help you understand the right protocol to follow as a motorist in a school zone, or near a school bus.

Picking up or dropping off children at school:

  • Every school has a system to pick up and drop off children. Make sure you educate yourself on the rules of the school and adhere to them
  • Don’t double park because it reduces visibility for other drivers, and can endanger students
  • Park in the allotted areas (these have been designed keeping in mind the safety of students), and take permitted turns while navigating the school grounds. Avoid making U-turns and three-point turns.
  • While driving, watch out closely for children on bikes coming onto the roadway from between parked cars. Also keep a safe distance of at least 3ft between your vehicle and the motorcycle, and always check your side-view mirror before exiting your car
  • As a rule, ensure that your child is safely buckled in with the seat belt or in an age-appropriate child car seat before starting the car. Also, make sure your child enters or exits the car only via the ‘safety door’ which is the rear door on the kerb-side

Driving in a school zone:

  • Don’t exceed the 25mph speed limit imposed while driving in school zones. Most often this speed limit is imposed in school zones between 8 a.m. and 9.30 a.m., and 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Motorists must adhere to this speed limit even if there are no children in sight
  • Slow down when approaching a school crossing
  • Do not proceed past the school crossing until the crossing supervisor’s hand-held sign is no longer displayed, or until he/she indicates that you can continue
  • If there is no crossing supervisor, but ‘CHILDREN CROSSING’ flags are displayed, the motorist must stop and wait until all the pedestrians have crossed the road
  • While driving through a school zone, avoid honking as it might scare children and cause them to stumble or fall in the way of oncoming traffic

Driving in the vicinity of a school bus:

  • Learn to understand the flashing light system on school buses.
  • If the overhead lights on the bus are flashing yellow, then prepare to stop. These lights indicate that the bus driver is planning to bring the vehicle to a halt to load or unload children.
  • If the overhead lights are flashing red, and the stop sign extended, it means that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off the bus. At this time all motorists, regardless of the direction in which they are moving, must come to a halt until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign pulled back, and the bus resumes motion. In all 50 states of the U.S., it is mandatory for all vehicles on both sides of the road to come to a halt during this process. However, if a median divides the road, this may not be required.
  • If you are passing a school bus, make sure that there is plenty of visibility and space in the next lane. It is illegal in the U.S. to pass a bus on the right side, as this is where the loading and unloading of children occurs. Therefore, vehicles may pass the school bus on the left side on multiple lane roadways
  • Remember, though buses have large mirrors to assist the driver in his/her navigation, these vehicles also have huge blind spots. Stay cognizant of this, and pull back and slow down if you see a bus flash its blinkers, and allow it to move into the next lane.
  • Be especially vigilant near bus stops. Children may be playing at the bus stop to kill some time, or might be arriving late for their school bus and may inadvertently dart into oncoming traffic.
  • Bear in mind that buses stop frequently, so maintain at least 3ft distance between your car and the bus, to allow yourself enough time to come to a halt too
  • Do not park at or near a bus stop. In fact, maintain enough distance between your vehicle and the bus stop to allow children to enter and exit the bus with ease
  • Always remember that children can behave in an unpredictable, often rash, manner. In their haste or enthusiasm, they may not remember the safety concerns associated with walking on the road or picking up something they’ve dropped on the road. Therefore, it’s important to look very carefully to make sure the way is clear before navigating traffic behind a school bus.

These tips will help you drive in a safe, responsible manner while driving in a school zone, or near a school bus. If you would like to share your thoughts or suggestions of your own, we’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below!

Posted in Law

What Are My Post-Trial Rights If I Am Convicted At An American Court Martial?

If a court martial sentence includes a sentence of death, confinement for one year or more, a punitive discharge such as a dishonorable discharge, bad conduct discharge or dismissal, then the case is automatically reviewed by the accused service’s court of criminal appeals. Each branch of the military service has its own court of criminal appeals comprised of appellate military judges.

The judges may be commissioned military officers or civilian attorneys, all of whom must be licensed lawyers in good standing with their bar. The court of criminal appeals has the power to correct legal errors and reduce excessive sentences. The court may make findings of law and facts in reviewing the record, unlike civilian appellant courts that generally only make findings of law.1

The United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) oversees the military justice system and is comprised of five civilian judges appointed to serve 15-year terms. Court of criminal appeals’ decisions are subject to review by CAAF.2 Service members also may petition the United States Supreme Court to review their case. CAAF decisions are subject to review by the Supreme Court.

Clemency

After a court martial is concluded, the accused may submit a request for clemency to the convening authority. The accused may present evidence to in mitigation and extenuation. The convening authority may suspend or dismiss a part of or the entire sentence. As part of clemency, the convening authorities often suspends the forfeiture of pay and directs that it be paid to the service member’s family.

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Need a Civil Rights Attorney? Here’s Some Advice For Picking One

If you are a private citizen it is important that you know your rights, and to know what constitutional privileges are guaranteed to you both that a federal and state level. You have certain inalienable rights at a federal level, and then a different set of rights at a state level. If you find yourself living in Dallas it is important to know what your civil rights are, and what the Dallas discrimination laws are.

As are most big cities, Dallas is known to infringe on people’s civil liberties. It doesn’t happen all at once, or even overtly; yet it is a reputation that has tarnished this otherwise great cities image. Whether it’s an overzealous police force, or corrupt politicians Dallas is a city to watch out for.

There are three particular things which discrimination are frequently based on in Dallas, and many other big cities in the South; which are: religion, race, and sexual orientation. Not everyone acts improperly towards non-Caucasians, homosexuals, or non-Christians, but there are people who do, in which circumstance you may choose to take legal action.

Many people simply shrug off an infringement of civil rights, but this simply keeps the problem going. If no one stands up against it, it will never get any better! Therefore, if you find yourself on the receiving end of discrimination, it is highly recommended that you seek the help of a Dallas civil rights firm. Not only will you feel like justice has pulled through, but you’re aiding the law in teaching others that being judgmental about religion, race, and sexual orientation is wrong.

Finding the right Dallas civil rights attorney is a personal process that only you can embark upon. You want to find someone with a good track record; but most importantly you’ll want to find someone sympathetic to your case. You want your lawyer to be in the game 100%. When you find an attorney that is passionate about the outcome of your trial you’ll find an attorney that is willing to work hard.

Posted in Law

Twitter Tips – 7 Reasons For Law Firms to Use Twitter

There have been many discussions concerning whether Twitter is an appropriate social media tool for law firms. I say YES… loudly. Twitter is an excellent tool for law firms to expand their reach and share their firm culture. It is also a great way for law firms to further develop and communicate a bit of their firm’s personality with the market.

Successful businesses know clients invest with those they know, like and true; this basic business principle is also true for law firms.

In fact, law firms can benefit from “digital word of month” referrals and recommendations based on this solid business principle by using Twitter to:

  1. Share updates about pro bono wins;
  2. Share information about community involvement;
  3. Share attorney awards and recognition;
  4. Share the accolades for firm clients;
  5. Syndicate legal alerts and other informational briefs by firm attorneys;
  6. Provide current legal information (not advice) about issues facing the firm’s target audience; and
  7. Provide commentary about recent legal happenings.

When starting with Twitter I often advise clients to:

  • Designate an attorney and marketing professional to become the firm’s chief Tweeters;
  • Establish a Twitter account to find legal professionals to follow;
  • Observer Twitter conversations of those key people you follow to learn about Twitter’s culture; and then
  • Start sharing information and engaging others.

Twitter is a powerful magnetic branding tool that law firms can utilize to attract media attention and drive traffic to their blog or website. In addition, Tweets are indexed by Google, providing an added benefit for using this tool to expand reach and increase visibility.

Posted in Law

Can I Get Ticketed By an Off-Duty Police Officer?

We are thankful for our law enforcement personnel who sacrifice their lives every day to protect our rights and our safety. As citizens, we expect police officers to be honest, respectful, and un-biased figures of society, so that we may trust them to carry out their duties responsibly.

But sometimes, a cop can exhibit overconfidence and carry out personal agendas that are not necessarily a positive contribution to our communities. One common example of this involves off-duty cops and unmarked police vehicles. Continue reading to learn about your rights as a citizen in the case that you are pulled over by an off-duty police officer in an unmarked vehicle.

Off-Duty and Unmarked

Have ever been pulled over by an unmarked police vehicle? They appear to look like any other normal vehicle on the road, and then all of a sudden, you see their flashing lights and sirens in your rearview mirror. Unmarked police cars are purposeful and used in several types of investigations and routine applications. So if you are pulled over in one, by a cop that is actually on-duty, then you are being legally pulled over. However, if you were pulled over by an off-duty police officer in an unmarked vehicle and out of uniform, the situation changes.

According to Indiana Code § 9-30-2-2:

A law enforcement officer that is off the clock and driving in an unmarked vehicle does not have the authority to pull someone over and issue them a citation or ticket.

Accordingly, any evidence gathered by the police officer during an unauthorized stop is suppressible, and carries no weight in a court of law whatsoever. Many drivers have had their citations and tickets revoked under these circumstances, after an attorney successfully presented their argument regarding this Indiana Code.

How to Challenge an Illegal Ticket

It is important to understand the limits of a cop’s authority, and when and where they have jurisdiction. This way, you can know whether or not a ticket is being issued legally. If this has ever happened to you, you might want to consider challenging it, or expunging the violation altogether. Talk to a record expungement lawyer to see if you qualify.

Remember, an off-duty officer in an unmarked vehicle has just as much right to pull you over as you have the right to pull over the car in front of you. So if a cop on his way home from work wants to pull you over, keep this in mind. But of course, never keep driving. It is best to just stop and talk to the police officer. Do not argue, accept the ticket, and then immediately call a defense lawyer when you get home.

Posted in Law

Choosing Representation For Your Civil Rights Case

Every United States citizen has certain rights designated by the constitution. These are known as civil rights, listed in the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution (The Bill of Rights), which include the freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms, and the right to a speedy and public trial, to name a few. These rights are protected by law and any violation of them should be brought to justice. If you ever find that any of your rights are infringed, or that you are the victim of discrimination, you should immediately seek the services of a Houston civil rights lawyer.

A Houston civil rights attorney will need to go through the tedious legal process before the actual case goes to trial. There is a lot going on when a litigation starts. The whole point of litigation is to use the law and somehow get an out of court settlement.

When both parties manage to reach settlement lots of money is saved as well as lots of legal time. However there isn’t a way to know if the case will actually go or not go to trial. This is why as an initial process the client is interviewed and asked if action needs to be taken using legal methods. Once all the facts are collected an agreement is decided upon as to what the lawsuit will be about.

One of the benefits of choosing to pursue a civil rights case is that it not only serves justice to you, but it also helps to prevent infringement of the rights of other people. Even if you just stop one person from discrimination or other violations, that’s one less person who could breach other peoples’ rights.

If you believe that you have experienced violation of your freedom by either the government or another person, please get in contact with a Houston lawyer as soon as possible. The only way we can stop this from happening is to step up and correct the guilty party.

Posted in Law

About Civil Rights and How to Get Justice For an Infraction

A San Diego civil rights attorney may be the choice for you if your civil rights have been violated. All American citizens are guaranteed the same rights, according to the law. It is sometimes necessary to be represented by an attorney in order to ensure that these rights are upheld.

Without a legal system in place to see to it that people are treated fairly, many more people would have to deal with wrongful termination of employment, without any recourse. There are many people who have been fired from their jobs for reason such as needing time off for medical procedures, complaining about sexual harassment, and racial discrimination. None of these reasons qualify within the U.S. legal system as acceptable reasons for termination. Fortunately for these people, San Diego civil rights attorneys are available to help them keep their jobs and be treated fairly.

In the U.S., people are guaranteed the right to religious freedom. This entitles them to assemble as a group with the intention of worship. They also have the right to refuse medical treatment in order to uphold their religious beliefs. The fact is, that in the United States, the government has no place in governing over people’s religious selection or practice. According to the law, the two must be kept separate. San Diego lawyers are well aware of these facts and are available to make sure that the laws of our civil rights are upheld.

Perhaps one of the largest civil rights issues we still face today is discrimination based on race. There are some who believe that people of certain races are “lesser” or different than they, and may treat them with verbal or physical abuse and terrorism. These thoughts and actions are completely wrong and are prohibited by the Constitution. Any harmful or demeaning behavior toward people of different races is illegal and punishable by law. Anyone who has suffered from racial discrimination is strongly advised to seek the help of an attorney as soon as possible.

If you’re a resident of California and feel that you have suffered from discrimination or harassment, please know that seeking a lawyer can not only help you find justice, but it will also ensure that no one else has to suffer as you have.

Posted in Law

Information About Hip and Pelvis Injury Compensation

The hip is a joint that connects our upper leg bones to our pelvis, giving us mobility. Our hip and pelvic bones are constantly at work for us, even when we are sleeping. Whether managing your everyday responsibilities or relaxing after they’re done, your hips are always playing a role in what you are doing with your body. They are a major component to your body’s overall stability, comfort, and physical capabilities. This explains why injuries to these areas are often very inconvenient and extremely painful.

Although most common in elderly patients, young to middle-aged adults and children can also be at risk for pelvic and hip injuries if they are involved in a serious accident. The most common types of accidents that cause severe pelvis and hip injuries include motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and even bicycle accidents. When a person is injured in such an accident as a result of another person’s carelessness, they are likely eligible for legal compensation. At this time, it would be in their best interest to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer for help with filing a claim against a wrongful party. They will develop an impactful case to profile the type of injuries their client suffered, and how it has negatively affected their overall health and quality of life. This will be the foundation of determining the amount of compensation that should be paid to the victim for their losses and damages.

Types of Pelvic Injuries

There are several types of hip and pelvic injuries, all of which are generally accompanied by muscle bruising and ligament sprains as well. They are all extremely painful, and can restrict a person’s mobility for months on end depending on the severity of the damage. Here are some of the most common hip and pelvic injuries seen as a result of negligent accidents:

Dislocations

Hip dislocations occur when an impact causes the ball-shaped head of the femur bone to come out of the cup-shaped acetabulum set in the pelvis. They are a very common injury among slip and fall victims, and victims of traffic accidents. It is unimaginably painful, and renders a victim immobile instantly. It can also cause nerve damage, resulting in numbness of the leg, foot, and ankle.

Hip Sprains

Hip sprains are serious muscle tears in the ligaments that support the hip joint. They occur when the ligaments are stretched past their limit and tear. This type of injury is tremendously painful, and can also result in bruising and swelling of the hip and pelvic area. It can take several weeks to heal, during which mobility is mostly restricted. Slip, trip, and fall accidents are common causes of hip sprains, but they also occur regularly in vehicle accidents and workplace accidents.

Pelvic Fractures

Pelvic fractures are among the most serious hip and pelvis injuries a person can sustain. This is because they have the potential to seriously change a person’s life forever. Some pelvic fractures comes with life-long consequences, or permanent complications. If the injuries are not permanent, they are still extraordinarily painful and are accompanied with months, or even years, of rehabilitation and healing. Painful physical therapy, loss of mobility, long-term medical care, and more are just a few circumstances a patient will face after fracturing their hip. Since the reproductive organs are in this area, more serious pelvis fractures can cause infertility, impotence, and sterility.

Hip Bursitis

One of the most common causes for hip pain, hip Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between muscle tissues by providing a gliding surface. Although most cases can be treated at home with proper care and pain medication, they are very painful and can takes weeks or months to heal completely.

If you or someone you love has recently suffered a pelvic or hip injury as a result of a serious accident, call a licensed personal injury attorney to file a no-risk, no-fee claim. They have the proper resources and knowledge to effectively navigate your case and recover the fair amount of compensation you deserve.

Posted in Law

What is Lemon Law?

What do I mean when I say “My car is under lemon?” It refers to the major defects in your car that deteriorates its usage, safety and value. In such a case, there are Lemon Laws to protect the consumers.

Now you must be wondering what a Lemon Law does. Lemon Laws are meant to obligate the seller or the manufacturer of the product to refund, repair or replace the defective product to the consumer. The Lemon Laws protect the purchaser of the defective new vehicle within its warranty period of the purchase. The Law is only applicable provided the consumer replaces the car within a specific given time limit. The manufacturer or the seller would provide the consumer with a new car or completely refund the full cost price.

There are certain key factors that need to be kept in mind to opt for a Lemon Law. These key factors are:

  1. The purchaser can’t complaint of minor issues which do not affect the usage and its safety such as funny noises, certain lights, etc. The consumer can not be protected under the lemon law in case there is anything in the car which the consumer does not prefer. These decisions should be made during the time of the purchase and the seller or manufacturer can not be blamed for it.
  2. The second factor is that the defect has to affect one of three or all the areas; safety, usage and value. If it’s a major defect then it has to affect any one of the three.
  3. Even if you have several defects during the warranty period, it does not mean your car is lemon. But a single serious problem can prove your car lemon if the manufacturer can not fix it in the first go.
  4. The manufacturer might take more than one chance to fix the problem.

In case the dealer refuses to repair or replace your vehicle, you are entitled to a legal Lemon Law help. When the dealer assures the buyer with a warranty during the purchase of the car, he is committed to provide all the after sales services. In case the manufacture doesn’t abide by the obligations, check with a trusted expert attorney. It is advised to possess all the required documents of the purchase of the car for further actions.

Posted in Law

Personal Injury Should Be Well Taken Care Of

If there is ever a situation where a person is suffering terribly from an injury, disability or in worse case scenarios, even death, mostly due to a careless negligence of an individual, in such cases, the personal injury law covers these instances and extends its hand for help.

A severe injury can cost an individual to shell out a lot of money, sometimes an amount that the individual might not even be capable of paying, if you opt for a personal injury claim in such desperate moments then you are eligible to seek some compensation for the injury you have faced and the payment gets taken care of because of the claim.

Mostly this law covers all the kinds of injury that can possibly take place, these injuries can be of any type. It can either be something that can cause a lot of harm to your body or it can make you face some kind of emotional trauma as well. It can be anything and at anytime and having a claim especially for these kinds of injuries will help you in emergencies.

Be alert and be careful of every step you take.

Let us have a look at some of the tips that can help you get this claim:

• DO NOT DELAY TO GET SOME MEDICAL ATTENTION

The first and foremost step that you need to take when you get an injury is to seek out for medical help immediately and instantly. Do not under any circumstances delay that step because the more you delay it, the more serious it can get, therefore seek out for some medical help as soon as you find yourself in such a situation.

• BE CAREFUL OF THE STATEMENTS YOU MAKE

Be absolutely confident and clear in what you say in the accident scene. Do not say anything that might make the situation much more complicated than it already is or give rise to some kind of a conflict. Be clear in what you have to say and keep it straight when asked about it. This will help in dealing with the process much quickly.

• KEEP A CHECK ON ALL THE EXPENSES

This would include all the bills in the hospital. Be it expense bills; diagnose bills, medical bills or any other tests that you might have undergone. Have a record of all the expenses because it might be asked for when you go to claim for compensation. You can also keep a record of some lost wages that you might have faced due to missing work. Keep a track of everything.

Posted in Law