Summer is almost gone – time to brush up on school zone safety! In case you forgot, speeding in a 20 mph school zone is a significant hazard to kids returning to Salem area schools soon, and could result in a ticket of up to $724.
Starting soon, police will patrol school zones and hand out citations to speed and parking violators.
“The first week of school is always a busy time in and around school zones and surrounding areas,” said Multnomah County sheriff’s Lt. Steve Alexander. “Parents, kids, crossing guards and school bus drivers are adjusting back to the school routine and the added traffic flow can create a hazardous situation for everyone.”
Although some drivers may consider going 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone no big risk, research shows pedestrians have a 90 percent chance of surviving car crashes at 18 mph or below. However, their chances of survival from an automobile impact drop to less than 50 percent at 28 mph or above.
Each year, more than 100 children in the U.S. are killed while walking and biking to and from school, according to the National Highway Safety Administration. More than 25,000 are injured.
In 2005, the Oregon Legislature simplified school zone speed laws with two categories — those on adjacent streets and near crosswalks “not adjacent” (in other words, a few blocks away).
School zone signs are hard to miss. They are fluorescent yellow and white, and indicate a 20 mph speed limit while in the zone.
School zones on roadways adjacent to school grounds can be designated as either “When Flashing” or “School Days 7AM to 5PM.” Nearby crosswalks away from school grounds can be either “When Flashing” or “When Children are Present.”
Motorists who are stopped for speeding in a school zone can get hit with a fine between $172 and $724.