While it’s important to drive safely and obey all traffic laws and speed limits, it’s especially important to do so in a school. School zones exist to protect young children and teens from being struck by a car while they are walking to or from school.
Every year, thousands upon thousands of students cross the street too early or dart out to catch up to a friend, and when they do so, drivers have mere seconds to swerve and hit the breaks without hitting them. In order to ensure there are as few accidents as possible, school zones with low-speed limits and extreme penalties for speeding were created.
Arizona School Zone Rules
Arizona has prioritized students’ safety by establishing low-speed school zones and implementing other rules such as restricting drivers from passing slower or stopped cars. Currently, state law mandates that all elementary and middle schools must have a 15 mile per hour speed limit in their school zones as well as each school is in charge of clearly indicating when the speed limit is in effect.
Unlike regular roads where the posted speed limit applies twenty-four hours a day, school zones are only in effect during certain hours of the day. To help drivers recognize when a school zone is in session, schools must observe the following guidelines:
- Schools may use yellow crosswalk markings and portable signs to indicate a school zone. Speed limits only go into effect when these signs are placed in the street.
- The portable signs must clearly indicate to drivers that speeding fines will double when the signs are out, and school is currently in session. These signs must also indicate that vehicles must stop when children are in the crosswalk.
- Each school zone must be preceded with a fluorescent yellow-green school zone warning side that indicates a 15 mile per hour zone.
As a driver in a school zone, you must pay attention to the signs that have been placed on the roadway to ensure you are following all of the school zone rules. If you are caught speeding or breaking any of the posted rules, you will be ticketed, and it will be expensive.
Penalties for Speeding in a School Zone in Arizona
Due to stringent state laws, police officers and Judges have no leniency those that ignore school zones and speed through them. To deter drivers from speeding in school zones, state law requires fines to be double what they usually are. For instance, if you are caught driving 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, the fine is usually $250. If you are caught driving 10 miles per hour over the speed limit in a school zone, the fine amount automatically doubles, and you will owe $500.
Points on Your Driver’s License
In addition to paying a hefty fine, drivers who are caught speeding in a school zone will automatically have two points added to their driving record. If a driver accumulates too many points in a 12-month span, it can result in their license being suspended and an increase in their car insurance premium.
School zones have a strict 15 mile per hour speed limit, and drivers who are caught speeding at 35 miles per hour will be arrested and charged with criminal speeding. Criminal speeding is a class three misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. In addition to jail time and fines, criminal speeding also adds three points to your driving record.
If you speed in a school zone and injure or kill a child, the parents of the child can sue you. If you are sued, you may be held liable and forced to pay damages.
What to Do When You are Ticketed for Speeding in a School Zone
If you have been charged with speeding in a school zone in Arizona, you are facing severe penalties that can take years to remedy. Seeing as the penalties you are facing are severe, it is wise for you to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.
The criminal defense team at JacksonWhite Law has years of experience assisting clients who have been charged with speeding. JacksonWhite’s criminal defense team can help you to reduce your penalties and fines, reduce your charges and even have your speeding offense dismissed.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to schedule a free case review today.