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No kids, no school zone speed limits (mostly)

School is officially in session in Medford but few of the schools actually have students onsite. Posted school zone signs say that the reduced speed limits are in effect on school days, during school hours. Are these speed limits being enforced when there is no one in the school?

— Oscar Z.

We at the SYA news desk were wondering when somebody would ask this question, especially since it seems like, based on how people are driving in school zones, everybody already knows the answer. And lucky for them, according to Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau, they’re on the right side of the law.

In general, Budreau said, Medford police are not enforcing the school zone speed limits posted on the 20 mph sign that reads “school days” or the 20 mph sign that reads “when children present.”

There’s one caveat, however. School zone speeds will be enforced at school buildings that have been designated meal pick-up spots while those meals are being handed out. Grab-and-go lunches are available at five local elementary schools and North Medford High School between 11 a.m. and noon every school day, and “Meals on the Move,” which runs from about 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. every school day, hands out breakfasts and lunches at four elementary schools along with seven other spots around town.

So in all, the school zone speed limits near nine local elementary schools and one high school are enforceable while meals are being distributed and children are present. Which means, Budreau said, drivers should have some awareness.

“Our advice,” he said, “is for drivers to pay attention, and if children are around school to go the school zone limit. And otherwise, to not be concerned about the school zone speed.”

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.