Do we really need the school speed zones in front of high schools? They do make some sense near elementary and middle schools, but high schools?
Yesterday at lunch I was driving past Lutheran High School on West Washington and a cop happened to be right behind me. I go past that school all the time and rarely slow down and never to the posted 20 mph. But with the law on my rear, I slowed way down figuring I really didn’t need to get an expensive ticket. But even then, I only managed to get down to maybe 24 mph and it seemed like I was at a standstill. And I don’t think the cop was interested in slowing down either as he was suddenly on my bumper when I slowed down. I’m sure he was rolling his eyes and wishing he was in an unmarked car so he didn’t have to creep by the high school just because the guy in the red truck in front of him was scared of getting pulled over.
But here’s the thing. It’s a high school. The kids are old enough to know not to run into the street. They aren’t on a playground chasing balls into the street. Almost none of the students at Lutheran even cross the street on foot. Those that don’t drive cars or get rides from other students or parents might take the bus which stops on the same side of the street as the school. I’ve never seen a student cross the street on foot and there are no crosswalks near the school. Still, we are supposed to slow down to 20 mph from an otherwise 40 mph speed zone.
Obviously, other high schools have much more foot traffic near them and it would be wise to use caution. But I’m not sure any more caution is needed in front of high schools than in any other place with high pedestrian traffic. I say it’s time to get rid of the 20 mph zones ear high schools.