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When you are driving through an Arizona school zone, different laws apply. These are specific areas of the roadway where Traffic Safety is of the utmost importance. Failing to follow school zone traffic laws can result in significant fines and even criminal charges for violators. Here, we want to review the school zone driving laws in Arizona so you know what to expect and so you can avoid a car accident in Phoenix.

School Zone Driving Laws in Arizona

Watch Your Speed

Perhaps the one thing everybody knows about school zones is that they are supposed to slow down, particularly when school is in session and if there are any special lights or markers out. In Arizona, the speed limit allowed in school zones varies depending on the situation but typically consists of the 15-mile-per-hour rule.

Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 28-797 was adopted in 1950 and established a 15-mile-per-hour school zone traffic control law. This is used for elementary and middle schools in Arizona. Generally, 15-mile-per-hour school zone signs are only in place manually with a traffic guard present and only at certain times of the day.

The 15-mile-per-hour school zone rule does not apply where there are crosswalks with signs or lighting used. This particular zone only applies when the portable yellow speed zone indicators indicate as such. Crossing guards or school staff are allowed to manage these signs under agreement with local traffic authorities.

There will always be an advanced warning sign, which is fluorescent yellow-green with two children depicted on the sign that precedes these special 15-mile-per-hour speed zones.

There will be an initial sign alerting drivers to where the 50-mile-per-hour school zone starts, and the final sign will indicate when the school zone ends.

Crosswalk Procedures

At school zone crosswalks and at any crosswalk throughout Arizona, drivers are not allowed to enter if there is a pedestrian. Drivers cannot enter the crosswalk if the pedestrian is at any place inside of the crosswalk. Drivers must remain aware of their surroundings as they approach school zones, even if they cannot see a direct crosswalk.

Other Rules You Need to Know

Drivers cannot pass other vehicles inside school zones, even if the double yellow line indicates that passing is allowed. No matter how slow the car in front of you may be going, you are not allowed to pass the school zone.

Pedestrians have the right of way in school zones. Even though school personnel typically do a good job of guiding children to the authorized crosswalk, there may be times when a pedestrian is not inside of a particular crosswalk. Drivers need to keep in mind that pedestrians have the right of way and adjust their driving accordingly.

Parking Versus No Parking

Drivers should comply with any signs that indicate no parking or stopping. Often, additional signage is brought to a school zone area each day to alter the flow of traffic. Anytime a person parks or wades inside of a school zone when they otherwise should not, they increase the risk of impeding the flow of traffic, further complicating the traffic situation.