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20MPH School Zones - Don't forget to slow down!

posted Aug 14, 2012, 5:48 AM by Craig Landis   [ updated Aug 14, 2012, 5:48 AM ]

4511.21 Speed limits

(A) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar at a speed greater or less than is reasonable or proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the street or highway and any other conditions, and no person shall drive any motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar in and upon any street or highway at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.

(B) It is prima-facie lawful, in the absence of a lower limit declared or established pursuant to this section by the director of transportation or local authorities, for the operator of a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar to operate the same at a speed not exceeding the following:

(1)(a) Twenty miles per hour in school zones during school recess and while children are going to or leaving school during the opening or closing hours, and when twenty miles per hour school speed limit signs are erected; except that, on controlled-access highways and expressways, if the right-of-way line fence has been erected without pedestrian opening, the speed shall be governed by division (B)(4) of this section and on freeways, if the right-of-way line fence has been erected without pedestrian opening, the speed shall be governed by divisions (B)(9) and (10) of this section. The end of every school zone may be marked by a sign indicating the end of the zone. Nothing in this section or in the manual and specifications for a uniform system of traffic control devices shall be construed to require school zones to be indicated by signs equipped with flashing or other lights, or giving other special notice of the hours in which the school zone speed limit is in effect.

(b) As used in this section and in section 4511.212 of the Revised Code, “school” means any school chartered under section 3301.16 of the Revised Code and any nonchartered school that during the preceding year filed with the department of education in compliance with rule 3301-35-08 of the Ohio Administrative Code, a copy of the school’s report for the parents of the school’s pupils certifying that the school meets Ohio minimum standards for nonchartered, nontax-supported schools and presents evidence of this filing to the jurisdiction from which it is requesting the establishment of a school zone. “School” also includes a special elementary school that in writing requests the county engineer of the county in which the special elementary school is located to create a school zone at the location of that school. Upon receipt of such a written request, the county engineer shall create a school zone at that location by erecting the appropriate signs.

(c) As used in this section, “school zone” means that portion of a street or highway passing a school fronting upon the street or highway that is encompassed by projecting the school property lines to the fronting street or highway, and also includes that portion of a state highway. Upon request from local authorities for streets and highways under their jurisdiction and that portion of a state highway under the jurisdiction of the director of transportation or a request from a county engineer in the case of a school zone for a special elementary school, the director may extend the traditional school zone boundaries. The distances in divisions (B)(1)(c)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this section shall not exceed three hundred feet per approach per direction and are bounded by whichever of the following distances or combinations thereof the director approves as most appropriate:

(i) The distance encompassed by projecting the school building lines normal to the fronting highway and extending a distance of three hundred feet on each approach direction;

(ii) The distance encompassed by projecting the school property lines intersecting the fronting highway and extending a distance of three hundred feet on each approach direction;

(iii) The distance encompassed by the special marking of the pavement for a principal school pupil crosswalk plus a distance of three hundred feet on each approach direction of the highway.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to invalidate the director’s initial action on August 9, 1976, establishing all school zones at the traditional school zone boundaries defined by projecting school property lines, except when those boundaries are extended as provided in divisions (B)(1)(a) and (c) of this section.

(d) As used in this division, “crosswalk” has the meaning given that term in division (LL)(2) of section 4511.01 of the Revised Code.

The director may, upon request by resolution of the legislative authority of a municipal corporation, the board of trustees of a township, or a county board of developmental disabilities created pursuant to Chapter 5126. of the Revised Code, and upon submission by the municipal corporation, township, or county board of such engineering, traffic, and other information as the director considers necessary, designate a school zone on any portion of a state route lying within the municipal corporation, lying within the unincorporated territory of the township, or lying adjacent to the property of a school that is operated by such county board, that includes a crosswalk customarily used by children going to or leaving a school during recess and opening and closing hours, whenever the distance, as measured in a straight line, from the school property line nearest the crosswalk to the nearest point of the crosswalk is no more than one thousand three hundred twenty feet. Such a school zone shall include the distance encompassed by the crosswalk and extending three hundred feet on each approach direction of the state route.

(e) As used in this section, “special elementary school” means a school that meets all of the following criteria:

(i) It is not chartered and does not receive tax revenue from any source.

(ii) It does not educate children beyond the eighth grade.

(iii) It is located outside the limits of a municipal corporation.

(iv) A majority of the total number of students enrolled at the school are not related by blood.

(v) The principal or other person in charge of the special elementary school annually sends a report to the superintendent of the school district in which the special elementary school is located indicating the total number of students enrolled at the school, but otherwise the principal or other person in charge does not report any other information or data to the superintendent.

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