Children are now returning to school! Drivers will once again be required to slow down in school zones during school hours. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, pedestrian Injury is the second leading cause of injury-related death in the United States for children ages 5 to 15. In any given year, more than 33,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for pedestrian related injuries. Increasing safety for children is a key reason behind Oregon’s 20 mph speed limit around schools.
As a responsible driver, make school zones safer for children by:

  1. Slowing down to 20 mph or less in school zones and school crosswalks when children are present. This includes high school lunch hours where students can leave school grounds.
  2. Lookout for children darting between cars.
  3. Making complete stops at stop signs.
  4. Not talking or texting on your cell phone or engage in other distracting activities when driving around school zones.
  5. Look both ways when navigating roundabouts. Drivers often only look to the left and do not see pedestrians from their right.
  6. Allow ample time to get to work so you do not need to speed.

ORS 801.462 states in pertinent part:
(1)School zone means both of the following:
(a) A specific segment of highway that is adjacent to school grounds and that is marked by signs described in subsection (2) of this section.
(b) A crosswalk that is not adjacent to school grounds and that is marked by signs described in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) Signs marking a school zone may include any words, symbols or combination of words and symbols that gives notice of the presence of the school zone. [2003 c.397 §2] Fines Increase for traffic infractions in school zones:
(b) If signs authorized by ORS 810.245 (Signs giving notice of consequences of traffic offenses committed in school zones) are posted, the minimum fine for a person convicted of a misdemeanor offense that is listed in subsection (2)(c) to (g) of this section and that is committed in a school zone is 20 percent of the maximum fine established for the offense.