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Los Altos Police Department
Wednesday May 4th, 2016 :: 10:15 a.m. PDT
Community

15 mph School Speed Zone FAQs

In order to provide additional clarification regarding the new 15 mph school speed zones, we pulled our most frequently asked questions and provided answers to each below. 

Q: Does the new speed limit apply 24 hours, 7 days a week, or only when school is in session?
A: The 15 mph school speed zone is in effect during normal school hours when children are traveling to and from school and also during the afternoon lunch break.

Q: Is there a minimum number of children who must be present for the 15 mph speed limit to be in effect?
A: No; there is no minimum number of children who must be present.

Q: If I'm driving past the school [during or after school hours] and I see no children in front of me, can I speed up to 25 even before I reach the "End School Zone" sign?
A: No. A child does not have to be visible for the 15 mph speed limit to be enforced; it is enforced during normal school hours when children are traveling to and from school and also during the afternoon lunch break. The intention of the reduced speed is to get vehicles to slow down during the time when children are going to and from school and when they’re on lunch break.

Q: If I see someone walking at midnight, am I expected to determine whether it's a child or an adult?
A: No. The 15 mph speed limit would not apply at midnight, thus determining the age of the pedestrian at that time would not be necessary.

Q: Why not just change the speed limit instead of applying this conditional overlay speed limit?
A: The goal of the reduced speed limit is for the safety of children traveling to and from school. A permanent 15 mph speed limit would not be supported by an engineering and traffic survey, which is required, per California Vehicle Code, for setting speed limits in the City.

We hope this helps answer any questions you may have about when the reduced speed limit applies.  If you have additional questions or need further clarification, feel free to contact us at (650) 947-2770 and ask to speak with the Traffic Division.

Address/Location
Los Altos Police Department
1 N San Antonio Rd
Los Altos, CA 94022

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-947-2770

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