Speed Limits in New York State


Current Speed Limit Information from the NYS MUTCD
(Part 212)

Please note that information contained below is strictly for educational and informational purposes. Any person associated with this website assumes absolutely no responsibility for the information contained herein.

212.4 School speed limit signs.
[R2-7]
R2-7
[R2-8]
R2-8

Graphics above created by webmaster. R2-7: "SCHOOL" in Series D, other legend in Series E. R2-8: all legend in Series E.

  1. General. School speed limit signs shall be used to inform motorists of part-time linear speed regulations established in the vicinity of certain types of schools and child care facilities. The Vehicle and Traffic Law specifies the places where school speed limits may be established and the times when the limits are in effect.
  2. Engineering Considerations.
    1. A school speed limit may be established if all the following conditions exist:
      1. The facility is a school with one ore more grades below 12; or a licensed child care facility provided in an institutional setting.
      2. Some of the children walk or bicycle to or from the facility; or the facility and related facilities (eg. classrooms, cafeteria, gymnasium, playground, athletic fields, parking lots, etc.) are separated by a highway and require the children to cross the highway on foot to access the facilities.
      3. The facility and the jurisdiction responsible for the highway provide written documentation of their support for a school speed limit.
    2. When a school speed limit is established and if students must cross a highway at a school or child care facility, the following conditions should be met:
      1. The school speed zone contains a marked crosswalk.
      2. The crosswalk is supervised by an adult crossing guard.
      3. There is no nearby traffic control signal, pedestrian overpass or underpass, or bridge suitable for pedestrian use within the designated school speed zone.
    3. The numerical value of a school speed limit should be approximately 10 miles per hour below the normally prevailing 85th percentile speed on the highway; or approximately the 85th percentile speed within the zone during school crossing periods. The Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibits school speed limits less than 15 miles per hour.
    4. The maximum length of a school speed zone as established in the Vehicle and Traffic Law shall not be greater than 1,320 feet (0.25 mile) on a highway passing a school building, entrance or exit of a school abutting on the highway. The reduced speed zone should begin at a point either 200 feet from the crosswalk, or 300 feet from the school property line, whichever is encountered first as traffic approaches the school. Longitudinal distances may be slightly adjusted to fit field conditions. The minimum distance of a school speed should be 400 feet.
    5. The hours of operation of a school speed limit as established in the Vehicle and Traffic Law shall be effective only on "school days" at times indicated by the school speed limit signs. The hours of operation shall be one of the following:
      1. between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., inclusive;
      2. alternative times within such core hours (e.g. 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; or
      3. a period when beacons attached to the school speed limit sign are flashing and such sign is equipped with an R7-13 supplemental sign and indicates that the school zone speed limit is in effect when such beacons are flashing. The beacons shall only flash during student activities at the school and up to 30 minutes immediately before and up to 30 minutes immediately after such student activities.
  3. School speed limit devices. Devices which may be used for posting school speed limits are:
    1. standard school speed limit sign assembly - an R2-1 maximum speed limit sign with a W6-3 (black on yellow "SCHOOL") school sign mounted above the R2-1 sign. In addition, the sign assembly shall contain one of the following:
      1. an R7-4 supplementary regulatory sign (indicates hours) mounted below the R2-1 sign and indicating the times the limit is in effect;
      2. an R7-4 supplementary regulatory sign (indicates hours) mounted below the R2-1 sign and indicating the times the limit is in effect. Supplemental flashing beacons may be included and operated when the limit is in effect; or
      3. an R7-13 WHEN FLASHING supplementary regulatory sign mounted below the R2-1 sign. Mandatory flashing beacons shall be included and operated when the limit is in effect;
    2. blank-out speed limit sign assembly - identical to the provisions of a standard school speed limit sign assembly (see paragraph [1] and subparagraphs [1][i], [ii] and [iii] of this subdivision), except that it contains a blank-out device which displays a numeric speed value when the limit is in effect and no message at other times. If the latter occurs, flashing beacons, if provided, shall not be operational;
    3. variable speed limit sign assembly - an R2-1 maximum speed limit sign with a W6-3 school sign (black on yellow "SCHOOL") mounted above the R2-1 sign in addition to a variable message device which has the capability to display more than one numeric speed value. The sign assembly shall also contain an R7-13 WHEN FLASHING supplementary regulatory sign mounted below the R2-1 sign and mandatory flashing beacons that are operational when the limit is in effect. If the variable message component displays another numeric speed that is not part of a school speed limit, provisions shall be made to provide a variable message device for the W6-3 school sign (black on yellow "SCHOOL") and the SCHOOL message shall not be illuminated at those times. If no numerical speed is displayed, then the school speed limit is not in effect and the mandatory flashing beacons shall not be operational.
    4. an R2-7 or R2-8 school speed limit sign. Each of these devices is essentially a combination of an R2-1 sign with blank-out numeral, a W6-3 sign, and R7-4 or R7-13 sign, and flashing beacons. The R2-7 sign is for roadside use, the R2-8 sign is for overhead use. A roadside sign is not required where an R2-8 sign is used; and
    5. any of the above signs or sign combinations may be supplemented with an R7-12 sign (black on white "FINES HIGHER") indicating that fines imposed for violating the school speed limit are higher than those imposed for violating other speed limits.
  4. Location. School speed limits shall be posted in accordance with requirements for linear speed limits, except that maximum spacing for intermediate signs should not exceed 1,100 feet.
  5. Illustrations. Figures 240-4 and 279-5 of this Title show examples of school speed limit signs. (Refer to printed text).
  6. Supplemental and related devices. Speed zone ahead signs, R7-12 supplementary regulatory sign, school child and school crossing signs, crosswalk markings and word markings (see printed text).