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0 Comments | May 09, 2018

Where Does A School Zone Start and End?

School Zone Sign

We’ve all likely come across School Zone signs before, but how many of us actually know where a school zone begins and where it ends? While each state law differs, according to New Jersey law there are a couple of ways to define a school zone: by student crosswalks and school grounds.

School Boundaries

The second scenario, school boundaries, is probably what most people think of when they imagine a school zone. So we’ll start there and work backwards. A school’s boundaries would be the speed zone applied to roads that border a school or playground. The reduced school speed limit, unless otherwise specified, is 25 mph and begins and ends 200 feet from the edge of the school or playground property. The 200-foot distance is increased if the reduced school speed limit is 30 mph or higher.

Student Crosswalks

Meanwhile, in the first scenario, the beginning and end points of a school speed limit zone is determined based on the location of student crosswalks. Although these crosswalks are typically at or near a school, they could also be part of a designated school route and the 200-foot speed limit reduction applies in each direction of the crosswalk.

Measuring School Zones

Assuming that school zone signs were installed 200 feet away from a crosswalk or school property, then there’s actually a fairly easy measurement you can use. By simply observing school zone signs going in both directions, you can generally tell where a school zone starts and ends. For example, if you are traveling north and you see a school zone sign then you know you’re entering the zone. You can tell when you are leaving the zone by observing where the sign is on the opposite side of the road (the sign for drivers heading south).

In all reality, the purpose of the school zone sign is to make the area safer for children. So if you see children present near a school, it’s likely a good indicator that you are in a school zone and should monitor your speed accordingly.