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Arizona School Zones

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 session.

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
  • Wider crosswalks
  • Speed and red-light cameras to catch drivers breaking the law
  • Crosswalk signs when lower speed limits are in effect
  • Police presence


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.


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