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Speed Limits

SRTS Toolkit

The World Health Organization(PDF) identified speed control as one of the most important strategies to avoid and reduce severity of collision injury.  A California statewide bill (AB 321) passed in 2007 aimed at reducing speed in certain school zones provides a tool for cities to control speeds limits in specific areas. Reduced school zone speed limit resolutions have been passed in a few California cities.


The City of Goleta was the first California city to pass a resolution(PDF) that reduced the speed limit around certain school zones to 15 miles per hour (15 miles per hour is the minimum allowed by the state). It enforces a statewide bill (AB 321) aimed at reducing speed limits to 15 to 20 miles per hour in certain school zones when children are present.

The City of San Francisco implemented 15 mile per hour speed zones around 181 public and private schools in San Francisco. The city teamed up with the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency and the nonprofit Walk San Francisco to install 803 new speed limit signs on two-lane streets within 500 feet of the schools.

The price of the speed reduction program and the manufacturing of the new signs was approximately the same cost as putting up one streetlight. The cost of the program is covered by Proposition K sales tax revenue and San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency operating funds. Proposition K was passed in 2003 to help finance transportation improvements for the city and county of San Francisco.

Other agencies/schools that have adopted AB 321 include: Santa Barbara County, Taylor School and Alvin School in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Buena Park and Casmalia.


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