School Speed Zones
Reduced speed limit zones are allowed around designated school crosswalks which are patrolled and marked. Establishing the locations of the school speed zones is a cooperative process between the schools and the City of Yakima. The signing and regulation of the zones is governed by state law.
1. Length of the School Speed Limit Zone is Defined. Washington State Law specifies the extent of reduced speed zones for school crossings as 300 feet, each direction.
(WAC 392-151-035 School crossing warning and speed limit signs).
School children are present or walking along the roadway, either on the adjacent sidewalk or, in the absence of sidewalks, on the shoulder within the posted school speed limit zone which extends three hundred feet in either direction from the marked crosswalk.
2. Vehicle speeds reduced by law within School Zone, when marked. Speeds are reduced to twenty miles per hour in school zones pursuant to State law when the zone is in effect, either signified by flashing lights, warning flags or certain posted hours (RCW 46.61.440 Maximum speed limit when passing school or playground crosswalks):
Subject to RCW 46.61.400(1), and except in those instances where a lower maximum lawful speed is provided by this chapter or otherwise, it shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to operate the same at a speed in excess of twenty miles per hour when operating any vehicle upon a highway either inside or outside an incorporated city or town when passing any marked school or playground crosswalk when such marked crosswalk is fully posted with standard school speed limit signs or standard playground speed limit signs. The speed zone at the crosswalk shall extend three hundred feet in either direction from the marked crosswalk.
3. Location of marked, patrolled school crosswalks and walk to school routes are the responsibility of each school with support from local police and traffic engineering (WAC 392-151-017, Safety Advisory Committee). Each school develops the safe walk route maps and submits a copy to the City Traffic Engineering Office and Police Department. Appropriate signing of the plan is the responsibility of the city. City staff works closely with each school to ensure a well developed and thorough safe walking route plan.