Typically, a school zone speed limit is anywhere between 15 MPH – 25 MPH. The actual speed limit for your area and school is determined by a traffic engineering study based on the traffic flow for the area and proximity to the school. Whatever your posted school zone warning sign states you should be very cautious when approaching and driving through a school zone for the safety of all students. Many school zone warning signs state that the speed limit only applies “when children are present.” However, you should still always be aware of the area as children can sporadically run into the street. Below are a few things that you should consider when driving through a school zone.
- Be aware: Make sure that you are not driving too tired or daydreaming while driving and that you are consciously aware that you are passing through a posted school zone.
- Reduce speed regardless: Whether or not the school zone sign states that it is only when children are present you should still consider reducing your speed while passing through no matter what. Even during off hours children frequently visit schools for after school activities, sports, or to visit the playground.
- Expect increased traffic: Drop off and pick up times can get hectic and those just passing through should just be aware of the potential for traffic delays during peak hours.
- Take notice of crosswalks: Crosswalks are often busy pedestrian areas when located near a school. Children are not always the best at staying within the crosswalk zone, so it is best to be aware.
- Watch for buses: Take notice of any buses coming in or out of the school zone. Children may be getting on or off and crossing the street.