If you’re a driving in Arizona, it is more likely than not that
you’ll have to travel through school zones occasionally. When doing so,
it is important that you’re driving safely; if you don’t, you could be
pulled over and given harsh fines as well as other penalties. Help keep
Arizona’s children safe – learn about Arizona school zone laws.
State Speed Limits
In 1950, Phoenix was the first city, not just in Arizona, but also
in the entire country to establish a school zone where the speed limit
was 15 miles per hour. Today, this still holds true. The Arizona school
zone 15 mph limit might be in place all of the time, but often you’ll
find that there is a slightly higher limit when school is not in
In Arizona, if you are speeding in a school zone or otherwise breaking
the law in a school zone, you will most likely going to get an Arizona
school zone ticket. This state has a “zero tolerance” policy, which
means that you’ll get a ticket, even if you were only going a few miles
over the posted speed limit.
Fines for Speeding in a School Zone
Arizona has harsh laws for anyone caught speeding in an Arizona
school zone. In this state, all typical speeding citation fines are
doubled, with some of the proceeds going toward the Safe Routes to
School state-wide program.
According to this legislation, passed in 2006, if you commit a moving
traffic violation while the school zone lights are flashing or the
“Stop When Children in Crosswalk” signs are posted, your fine will be
an automatic minimum of $200. Depending on your offense, you might also
get two or three points on your license. You may or may not be eligible
to attend defensive driving school to erase your penalties.
Importance of Child Safety
It goes without saying that children are unpredictable. It is
important to drive safely in a school zone by following all laws
because kids, especially elementary school students, often don’t think
before they act. They may run into the street before looking both ways,
change directions quickly, or otherwise surprise you as you’re driving.
If you are speeding in a school zone, you might not have enough time to
stop before hitting the child.
The safer school zones are, the more likely it is that children will
walk to school instead of taking the bus or being driven. Walking to
and from school is healthy exercise for kids. In addition, it means
less traffic congestion around a school area and is a responsible
choice for the environment. By helping to keep school zones safe by
driving slowly and cautiously, you can encourage parents to allow their
children to walk to school.
School Zone Identifiers
School zones are also very clearly posted as such, with typical
speed limit signs showing drivers the law. Depending on the city or
town, you might also find a number of other safety measures in places
as well. These include:
- Flashing lights warning of the Arizona school zone
- Specific posted speeds during certain hours of the day
- Crossing guards with the authority to stop traffic
- Speed and red-light cameras to catch drivers breaking the law
- Crosswalk signs when lower speed limits are in effect
School zones are always very visibly posted, with signs, lights, and
painted roadways, so there’s no excuse for breaking the law. Other than
speeding and running red lights/stop signs, you can get a ticket in an
Arizona school zone for continuing to drive before people are
completely out of the crosswalk (even if they aren’t blocking your lane
anymore) and passing another car, even if they are going very slowly.
The focus here is driving safely.
Schools zones have specific rules for a reason – they are meant to keep
children protected. Do your part as an Arizona driver and work to keep
these areas safe for all who are walked to and from school.