Two school zone safety bills need your support!
March 31, 2015 1 Comment
Both bills need your support to pass the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on Apr 14!
SB 564 is another try at instituting an additional $35 fine on driving violations committed in school zones and directing the revenue to the Active Transportation Program for Safe Routes to School projects and programs. You may recall SB 1151 from last year, which Governor Brown vetoed in September with concerns that higher fines unfairly penalize lower-income drivers. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is co-sponsoring SB 564 again this year because we believe it provides a valuable solution to critical safety problems for children traveling to school, especially in disadvantaged communities.
We believe all drivers should take extra caution in school zones, and that the State should put the same priority on school zone safety as is currently applied to construction zones, where fines are doubled. In addition, school zones in low-income communities tend to have poor infrastructure and greater safety risks to students walking and bicycling. The Active Transportation Program prioritizes infrastructure improvements that address safety issues in those communities. We need to convince Governor Brown that the additional school zone fine is warranted because the benefits of the revenue collected will be accrued back to schools in disadvantaged communities.
SB 632 would allow local jurisdictions, based on a traffic analysis, to expand the size of a school zone up to a quarter mile from the edge of a school building or school grounds. Existing law allows a school zone to be set 500 to 1000 feet from the edge of the school property, but we believe a quarter mile is a more reasonable radius around a school where children will be traveling on the street and drivers should be noticed to take extra caution in their presence.
Together these two school zone safety bills will go a long way toward providing safer routes for California children, and we encourage your support of both bills! Letters of support should be submitted to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee by April 10 to influence the Committee’s vote on Apr 14.