COLUMBUS – The Ohio Transportation and Public Safety Committee today began hearings on House Bill 494, which would allow for the creation of “school adjacent zones” on any street or highway that is within a half mile of a school.
H.B. 494 will allow a school district to make a proposal to their local legislative authority for the creation of a “school adjacent zone,” as an alternative to a traditional 20mph school zone.
Bill sponsor, State Representative Rodney Creech (R-West Alexandria), noted during his testimony that National Trail Local Schools, located in Preble County, lies between two major roadways; US-40 and Interstate 70.
“When there is heavy traffic on one of these major roadways, drivers tend to cut across to the other to save time on their commute. This has not only caused several accidents and traffic incidents, it is a constant danger to children and educators who may be walking to or from school,” said Creech.
The proposed zone must accomplish three things:
- It must designate the proposed speed limit for roads and highways within the zone and the hours when those speed limits are in effect;
- The legislative authority must consult with the school administration and county engineer, or other appropriate engineer prior to adopting it; and
- The legislative authority must submit it to the Director of Transportation for approval.
If a proposal is approved, the new zone will also require signage to giving fair notice to drivers.
H.B. 494 now awaits additional committee hearings.