Ask a Trooper: Statutes clarify school speed sign enforcement

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QUESTION: What does the reduce speed sign that says “when children are present” mean? When children are present where? In school, outside the school, outside the fence?

ANSWER: According to Minnesota State Statute 169.14 (5a): “Such school speed limits shall be in effect when children are present, going to or leaving school during opening or closing hours or during school recess periods.”

My understanding is the law refers to when children are “outside” the school.  This includes when buses are present and when kids are in crosswalks, on sidewalks and out in the schoolyard. Even if there is a fence, it is not going to stop a vehicle that is speeding and out of control and runs off the highway or street. This is why it is so important to slow down through school zones and pay extra attention for bicyclists and pedestrians.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, [email protected]).


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