School Zones and How they Affect Tickets in PA

sign indicating school zone speed limit of 15 miles per hour with school building seen in the backgroundGetting a ticket can always be costly. In Pennsylvania, violating traffic laws while driving in a school zone can lead to increased penalties. If you cannot contest a ticket successfully, you could end up paying large fines and even have your license suspended. With the help of Engle, Kauffman, and VanHorn, you can fight tickets in school zones and avoid steep penalties.

What Are School Zones?

School zones include school grounds and the areas around a school. Since it’s common to see children crossing the street and walking in school zones, especially during school hours, it’s common to have a reduced speed limit in school zones during certain times of the day.

Pennsylvania School Zone Laws

According to Title 75 Section 212.501 and Title 75 Section 3365(b), school zones have a speed limit of 15 MPH during the hours students arrive at and leave school. School zones must be clearly marked with signs indicating where the zone begins and ends.

The reduced school zone speed limit cannot be extended past when students arrive and leave school. While school zones can extend past a school’s property lines, the total length of a school zone cannot be more than 1,600 feet.

What Happens if You Get a School Zone Ticket?

While Pennsylvania speeding laws already have penalties for speeding, distracted driving, and other offenses, these penalties are more severe when violations take place in a school zone.

Distracted Driving

In Pennsylvania, any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road can lead to a ticket for distracted driving. While many drivers are ticketed for texting while driving, it can also include:

  • Eating
  • Reading texts while driving
  • Wearing headphones while driving

There is a $50 fine for distracted driving, but the total cost of a ticket is often much higher. Drivers are also subject to surcharges, court costs, and other expenses. In addition, commercial drivers will have a distracted driving offense listed as a non-saction violation on their records.


Speeding laws are more strictly enforced in school zones, but the penalties for violations are much more severe.

For a first offense, drivers who speed in a school zone can have three points issued against them on their license. A second offense leads to an automatic 60-day license suspension.

These penalties are severe, so drivers who have been cited for speeding in a school zone should talk to a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

How Long Do Points Stay on Your License?

In Pennsylvania, drivers with 6 points on their license must take a written point examination. If the driver passes the exam within 30 days, 2 points will be deducted.

Drivers that accumulate 6 points for a second time will be required to sit for a departmental hearing, which could lead to a license suspension. If a driver accumulates 11 or more points, their license will be automatically suspended.

As long as a driver’s license is not suspended or revoked, they will remove three points from their driving record for every 12 consecutive months in which they do not commit a violation that causes them to be assigned points. If the points on a driver’s record are reduced to zero, and the driver stays at zero points for 12 consecutive months, they will treat new points like points accumulated for the first time.

Got a School Zone Ticket?

School zone tickets come with fines and penalties, so you should seek help from a lawyer who deals with traffic tickets in Pennsylvania. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in PA, you’ll be able to fight your ticket and potentially avoid points on your driving record.

At Engle, Kauffman, and VanHorn, we’ve helped many people contest school zone tickets. Contact us at (814) 234-8834 to schedule a consultation and discuss your options.