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  • Writer's pictureMarty Walt

School Zones and Speeding Tickets

Updated: Apr 24, 2023


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Drivers need to be aware that since schools have re-opened, they now need to be extra cautious in those school zones. For those who need a fresh reminder, school zones have 20 mph speed limits, and failure to adhere to these speed limits can bring about a hefty fine as high as $700.

School zone speed limits are mostly applicable during pre-designated weekday hours but that is not always the case. Since these zones are designed to protect children heading to school, their applicable times may differ in accordance with the school’s opening or closing times in that particular area or school district. School zone signs are generally amended to say “When children are present” and that highlights that a school zone limit only applies in the presence of children.


Authorities already understand and are highlighting that the first week of school is always the busiest and the most critical because parents, kids, crossing guards, school drivers, general drivers and commuters are adjusting to the back to school routine and the added traffic flow can create a hazard for anyone, including the added children on the road.

Going a mere 10 miles over the 20 mph speed limit might not seem hazardous at all but in reality these extra 10 miles can be the difference between life and death. Not only that, but you’re looking at a speeding ticket 50% over the limit, which can lead to serious fines. Research has clearly indicated that pedestrians who are in a car crash where the speed of the car was not more than 18 mph have a survival rate of 90%, but a simple increase of 10 mph can drop their survival chances down to a meager 50%.


Keeping this in view, different cities have implemented different laws to ensure that school zone speed limit laws are strictly implemented. For example, in the city of Portland, a speeding ticket in a School zone can effectively cost you anywhere from $ 174 to $ 724, depending upon whether the speeding was done in the presence or absence of children in the school zone.


Beyond the concern of traffic ticket prices, an obvious concern should be the safety of others, and your insurance premiums rising if you receive a ticket in a school zone. Different communities across USA and other parts of the world are lobbying for even stricter laws, fines, and penalties in the case of school zone violations. People debate that school violations cannot be taken lightly because it’s the children the future of any community who are being directly affected if a driver fails to adhere to a school zone speed limit and somehow harms a child. These advocacy groups are pushing hard to move school zone violations beyond monetary liabilities and are demanding stricter actions and punishments for the culprits.

Whatever the outcome of these battles may be, it’s important to remember: drive with extra caution in school zones, and obey the posted signs!

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