Drivers reminded to slow down in school zones as students return

School crosswalk with crossing guard and two students
Drivers by Arizona law must come to a complete stop when anyone is in a school crosswalk. (Adobe Stock Image)

Drivers by Arizona law must come to a complete stop when anyone is in a school crosswalk. (Adobe Stock Image)

Some Gilbert schools are back in session this week with more to come over the next two weeks. With students returning to campuses, drivers are reminded to slow down for school zones.

Gilbert has 58 public schools in the three districts that serve the town, with all of them having designated school crossings, Gilbert Police Department Spokesperson Brenda Carrasco said. The hours are 7 a.m.-4 p.m., and some posted signs have visual light indications that school is in session.

Charter schools do not have posted school zones, she said.

School zones are designated as 30 miles per hour, according to Arizona Revised Statute 28-797, with the actual school crossings having additional portable signs that bring the speed limit down to 15 mph.

Vehicles are not allowed to overtake or pass each other in the school crossing zone, where the speed limit is 15 mph.

The reduction in speed to 15 mph starts where a portable sign is in place in the street, and drivers may resume speed to 30 mph once they have passed through the crosswalk until the end of the school zone, Carrasco said.

School authorities are charged with putting the portable signs in place and must remove them within one hour after a school session is in place, unless they have otherwise reached an agreement with the town, according to the law.

If a school crossing guard is present, an additional handheld stop sign could be displayed as the guard walks out into the crossing. When a person is in the crossing, vehicles must come to a complete stop.

School zones are also posted letting drivers know the school zone restriction has ended. This sign reads, “End School Zone.”

The civil penalties for traffic violations in school zones are double the normal penalty by law.

Gilbert does not have any photo radar enforcement in any school zone, Carrasco said.

School started July 21 for Chandler USD. Higley USD students return July 26 and Gilbert Public Schools Aug. 4.
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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