School Speed Zone Eligibility


Number: 100-17

Effective Date:





1 of 2

Staff Contact:

Gregg Zimmerman

Approved By:

Denis Law


To establish a policy and procedure that will reduce speed limits in eligible school zones to provide for increased safety to students and pedestrians.


Public Works Department

Police Department


·    Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)

·    RCW 46.61.440 Maximum Speed Limit When Passing School or Playground Crosswalks – Penalty, Disposition of Proceeds

·    WAC 468-95-330 School Speed Limit Assembly (S4-1, S4-2, S4-3, S4-4, S5-1)

·    WAC 468-95-340 School Speed Limit Assembly (S4-1, S4-2, S4-3, S4-4, S5-1)

·    Oregon Department of Transportation, A Guide to School Area Safety

·    Review of Guidelines for Establishing School Speed Zones, Kay Fitzpatrick, Texas Transportation Institute


This policy outlines which schools within the City limits are eligible to install school speed zones per the MUTCD Part 7: Traffic Control for School Areas and RCW 46.61.440: Maximum Speed Limit When Passing School or Playground Crosswalks.

4.1    All public schools within the public school system located within the City limits are eligible. If all or most of the students are provided transportation to the school, the need for a school speed zone is diminished.

Only charter schools with an enrollment of at least 200 students will be considered for a reduced speed school zone. School advance warning signs, with or without speed advisory plates, may be installed for smaller charter schools with an enrollment of at least 100 students.

Private schools shall follow the same requirements as described below. In general, however, school zones will only be considered for private schools which have registered with the State Department of Education.

Preschool, child development centers, and other daycare type facilities are not eligible for school speed zones and “School” pavement markings are not allowed in advance of these facilities.

4.2    When all of the below-listed conditions exist, a school speed zone is recommended when supported by an engineering study:

A.    The roadway will be adjacent to the school grounds, not limited to school buildings.

B.    There is at least one marked school crosswalk within the proposed school zone which is not protected by a signal or stop sign.

C.    The property houses a full-time public or private school.

D.    The school is elementary or middle school level instruction (grades K-8).

E.    The posted speed limit is 40 mph or below.

4.3    Further justification for school speed zones may be required where any of the below-listed conditions exist. An engineering study should be the basis to determine whether there is a need for a school speed zone.

A.    The school is a public or private high school.

B.    The marked school crosswalk is at a signalized intersection.

C.    The marked school crosswalk is at a stop sign.

D.    The marked school crosswalk is on a roadway segment not adjacent to the school grounds.

E.    Children walking on the school’s “Safe Routes to School Plan” do not cross the roadway adjacent to school grounds.

4.4    School speed zones are discouraged in locations where the below-listed conditions exist:

A.    Roadways where the posted speed limit is 45 mph or greater should implement school speed zones only after all other options for transporting children to school safely have been attempted.

B.    In some cases all children are bused to school, regardless of distance. The City shall verify whether or not children are walking or biking to school. Some children, especially middle school students, will prefer walking or biking to school even when buses are available.

C.    If there are children walking to school on a high-speed or high-traffic volume road, the City shall consider providing improved pedestrian facilities for greater student safety. A reduced school speed may also be considered as part of those improvements. A school speed zone provides the greatest margin of safety on high-speed or high-volume roads when implemented along with other pedestrian improvements such as sidewalks, crosswalk bulb-outs and crossing guards.