School begins this week across Central Oregon. And the Bend Police Department is reminding drivers that the speed limit in school zones is back to 20 mph on days schools are in session.
Oregon law states the 20 mph rule is in effect from 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. regardless of whether children are present.
Bend PD says the 20 mph law is also in effect “When children are present” if children are occupying or walking in a crosswalk, waiting on a curb or shoulder of the highway or street at a crosswalk, or when a crossing guard is present to assist children at a crosswalk.
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“Thank you for slowing down, giving yourself extra time for your commute and paying attention to your surroundings to help keep students and families safe as school resumes,” Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz said in a statement.
Bend PD said 20 mph is the chosen speed due to pedestrian survival rates. It cites research that pedestrian survival rates are 95% when struck by a vehicle at 20 mph. The rates drop to 60% when struck by a vehicle going 30 mph and 10% at 40 mph.
Also, remember that when a school bus is stopped and its red safety lights are on, you are not allowed to pass. Doing so is a Class A infraction.
Bend Police also plan to conduct speed and distracted driving enforcement details.