City reduces vehicle speed limit near hundreds of schools in Sacramento

The Sacramento City Council on June 4 approved a resolution establishing a 15-mph speed limit near 115 public, private and charter schools within the City of Sacramento.

The change is a result of Vision Zero, an action plan approved by Council in 2018 to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Sacramento by 2027. The plan was created through a joint effort by City departments, Councilmembers and citizen stakeholder groups.

Speed limits will be reduced near school zones on 225 two-lane residential streets within the city from 30 or 25 mph to 15 mph, as defined by California Vehicle Code.

“We can solve one of the city’s largest preventable public health crises but only by taking bold actions like this one,” said Jennifer Donlon Wyant, Active Transportation Specialist. “Although this was identified as a long-term goal of Vision Zero, we were able to make the change happen much quicker than expected.”

A public education campaign will arrive late summer to educate students, parents and community members about the dangers of driving at unsafe speeds, especially in school zones. Special events will be scheduled in various council districts to highlight the newly established speed limit.

According to the Office of Traffic Safety’s collision rankings, Sacramento in 2016 had the highest rate of speed-related traffic fatalities of any city in the state. Sacramento also was the worst city in California for collisions in which a pedestrian under the age of 15 was killed or severely injured.

The California Vehicle Code grants authority to local jurisdictions to establish a 15-mph speed zone around qualified schools when children are present.

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