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04/14/2024 12:23 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20230&cosponId=38287
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 6, 2022 07:57 AM
From: Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill
To: All Senate members
Subject: Protecting Children by Enforcing School Zone Speed Limits
 
In the near future I will reintroduce Senate Bill 1313 of last session which seeks to enforce school zone speed limits. Current PA statute 67 Pa. Code §212.501 School zone speed limits governs the establishment and posting of school zone speed limits in the Commonwealth. 
  
Under the statute’s present wording, there is the following requirement: “To establish a school zone, local authorities shall be responsible to prepare and submit a drawing showing the locations of where students walk along or across roadways that are adjacent to school property…” 
  
Today, for safety reasons many schools do not permit students to walk to and from their schools.  
  
A recent court case decision found that drivers exceeding the posted school zone speed limit may not be liable for penalties if the school involved does not permit students to walk to and from school. In this case, the posted 15 mph school zone speed limit was found unenforceable. 
  
My legislation amends the statute to permit the establishment of enforceable school zone speed limits during the hours that students are normally going to and from school, even if students are not permitted to walk to and from the school. 
  
Most access points are not protected by road traffic signals or human guards.  In the absence of enforceable school zone speed limits, hazardous conditions may exist at school entrances and exits when school buses and private vehicles are transporting children to and from school and must enter or exit from high density traffic flow at posted speed or above.  
  
Drivers can face significant challenges in identifying safe exit spaces to enter at-speed or above traffic flow, at times complicated by need to make left turns across high density speeding oncoming traffic.  These factors can result in lengthy waits and backed up traffic on main roads or on school property at school entrances and exits.  
  
Many of us have seen very long lines of vehicles lined up to drop off or pick up children at school, in addition to dozens of school buses, and faced the challenges of trying to safely enter or exit into a stream of fast-moving vehicles with our children. 
  
Ensuring that the areas around the entrances and exits to all our school grounds are protected by school zone speed limits during normal student drop off/arrival and pick-up times, regardless of whether children are walking or being transported in a vehicle, will enhance safety by reducing the significant challenges drivers face as well as transport delays around our schools. 
  
Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation. 
  

 

Previous cosponsors include Senators Fontana, Cappelletti, Kearney, Mensch, J. Ward, Schwank, and Mastriano. 



Introduced as SB120