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Getting Schooled on School Speed Limit Signs

September 13, 2019

Most drivers know when they approach a school to slow down and watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists. But it helps to post a school speed limit sign near the campus as a clear reminder, since regulatory signs carry more weight. Here are points to remember about posting these signs near schools.

Typical Speed Limits

It’s common for the speed limit to be between 15 and 25 mph in a school zone, similar to a residential area. That’s about the driving speed traffic should be moving in case there is no speed limit sign. In some cases, the speed limit might be 10 mph, or in parking lots, it may be as low as 5 mph. Many school zone signs add the phrase “When Children Are Present” to remind drivers they may encounter young pedestrians.

In these particular zones, if you are pulled over for speeding, fines can be heavier than in other areas. Even if there is no school speed limit sign, you can’t use the excuse, “I didn’t know the speed limit.” Drivers are expected to drive safely at all times, especially when they enter a school zone. Driving 40 or 50 mph near a school is simply a poor decision because it sends out a message the driver isn’t paying attention close enough to his or her surroundings.

Making Safety a Top Concern

Every driver should be concerned about their own safety and potential liabilities as well as the safety of others. That’s why whenever you see a school, you should slow down even outside of school hours. It’s just a safe practice and since many schools are already in residential areas, there’s no reason to be driving faster.

In the event you see children serving as safety patrol helpers at crosswalks, you must follow their directions, which supercede existing pavement markings, signs or lights. When in doubt of the speed limit, it’s better to take the side of caution. Be aware that school zones almost always require slowing down.

The busiest times near schools are when buses and parents drop off or pick up children, which are in the morning and mid-afternoon. You will be caught in much tighter traffic in those periods, which lessens the probability of speeding. Make sure to check for kids using crosswalks and those that jaywalk. It’s very important to not get in the way of school buses as well.


Drivers must respect school speed limit signs when they approach an area populated by students. These regulatory signs serve as warnings to drivers to be extra careful of children who may run across the street without checking both ways. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location for more information about traffic safety and school speed limit signs.

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