The Findlay Police Department is reminding drivers to pay attention in school zones and to obey school bus laws as the new school year gets underway.
Findlay Police Officer Brian White says the department has received questions regarding the speed limit in school zones.
Brian says the Ohio Revised Code states, the speed limit is “twenty miles per hour in school zones during school recess and while children are going to or leaving school during the opening or closing hours.”
However, many school zone signs include the wording “During Restricted Hours”.
So, the question that usually follows is, “what are those restricted hours?” The short answer is, it depends on the school.
As Brian mentioned in the audio above, schools have different start or end times and some have recess while others do not.
While Findlay High School starts at 7:30 am and ends at 2:40 pm, Jefferson Primary School starts at 9:15 am and ends at 3:40 pm.
School delays and cancelations can also impact these times.
Traditionally, Findlay High School has had open lunches during various times, allowing students to walk to various area restaurants.
The spirit of the law is intended to keep children safe, but not unduly restrict traffic when that particular school is not in session.
For this reason, restricted hours are not set in stone.
To address this, many area schools have installed flashing warning lights to alert drivers to when that particular school is in session and when those “restricted hours” apply.
Ohio law does not require these lights, which is why you will see them at one school and maybe not another.
Regardless if the lights are installed or not, it’s up to the individual driver to slow down when children are at recess or going to or from school.
The police department is offering some general tips to help guide drivers as the new school year begins.
1. Pay attention. Many of those stopped for speeding in a school zone don’t realize they were in a school zone in the first place.
2. If the flashing lights are active, slow down.
3. If it’s the morning or afternoon and you see a child in a school zone, slow down.
“Remember, school speed zones are intended to keep children safe,” Brian said.
“Following the tips above can potentially save a life, as well as save you from a hefty fine.”
Click here for a refresher on school bus laws in Ohio.
The first day for students in Findlay City Schools is Tuesday.