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School zone ends at new sign

I have a question regarding the school zone on Upper Applegate Road. When traveling north (toward Ruch) on Upper Applegate, you have a sign stating you are entering the school zone and the posted limit. However, there is no "End School Zone" sign on the Highway 238 side of the school. When you are traveling south, you have both the entering and ending signs.

Is the sign simply missing or is it still the school zone until the stop sign at Upper Applegate and Highway 238? Either way, it's confusing to motorists as you can watch them get about halfway from Ruch School to Highway 238 and speed up as there is no sign saying they can or can't.

— Lt. Rob Underwood, Volunteer Firefighter, Applegate Fire District

Rob, I'm going off memory of this section of road while writing this response, but I think I remember correctly so I'll take a shot at your question. There are two ways to signify the end of a 20-mph school zone, and either are acceptable. The first method is to have a specific sign that says "End School Zone" on it, which is fairly obvious when used.

The other, maybe more subtle way is to post another speed limit sign, so that the school zone ends upon reaching the next speed zone sign. In the case of northbound Upper Applegate traffic, as I remember, there is a 40 mph sign posted just north of the school but well before you come to Highway 238. So, the school zone ends when reaching the sign, thus the motorists you're watching are probably doing exactly what they're allowed to do. I wouldn't be able to tell you why one end was posted one way and the other is different, that would be a question for county road officials.

Dace Cochran, a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, writes a weekly Q&A column on police issues for the Mail Tribune. Have a question for him? Write to Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501, or e-mail cochradc@jacksoncounty.org.