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School Zone Speed Limits

California Driver Handbook - Laws and Rules of the Road

Post Date:02/26/2018 3:00 PM

SCPD often gets inquiries about school zone speed limits. The California Driver Handbook may help to answer your questions.

California Driver Handbook - Laws and Rules of the Road
When driving within 500-1,000 feet of a school while children are outside or crossing the street, the speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted. If the school grounds have no fence and children are outside, never drive faster than 25 mph. Some school zones may have speed limits as low as 15 mph.

Always drive slowly and carefully near schools, playgrounds, parks, and residential areas because children may suddenly run into the street. Also, many children have not yet developed the ability to judge speeds and distances well enough to cross streets safely when cars are moving fast.

Near schools, parks, playgrounds and residential areas look for:

  • Bicyclists and pedestrians.
  • School safety patrols or crossing guards. Be sure to obey their directions. For the crossing guard’s safety, allow them to safely get to the side of the road before driving ahead.
  • Stopped school buses and children crossing the street. Some school buses flash yellow lights when preparing to stop to let children off the bus. The yellow flashing lights warn you to slow down and prepare to stop. When the bus flashes red lights (located at the top front and back of the bus), you must stop from either direction until the children are safely across the street and the lights stop flashing. The law requires you remain stopped as long as the red lights are flashing. If you fail to stop, you may be fined up to $1,000 and your driving privilege could be suspended for 1 year. If the school bus is on the other side of a divided or multilane highway (two or more lanes in each direction), you do not need to stop.

Regardless of the posted speed, if it is raining, foggy or dark slow down.


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