State DOT officials run a series of tests based on things like how many accidents have happened or how busy a street is to decide whether to lower the speed limit. But a NY lawmaker is trying to lower school speed limits.
In a small school district in Orleans County, people are concerned about the speed limit in a school zone. Kendall Junior Senior High School sits on Route 18 where drivers fly by at 50 miles an hour, because that’s the speed limit.
Ron Kingsbury lives in Kendall, but travels throughout the area often. He says he has noticed this problem in other rural school districts too.
“You have the entrance to the school on downhill so you can't see what's coming up or down,” Kingsbury said. “If you're pulling out at 50 miles an hour and you have a kid who is in an experienced driver you might not see them.”
The road where the school sits is managed by the New York Department of Transportation and right now they have no plans to lower the speed limit. That concerns community members like Bonnie Barbarito.
"I think it should be lowered,” Barbarito said. “It’s just too dangerous.”
State DOT officials run a series of tests based on things like how many accidents have happened or how busy a street is to decide whether to lower the speed limit and right now Route 18 does not qualify. New York State Senator Robert Ortt has introduced a bill to allow counties to lower school speed limits.
"I don't want to wait for all of those metrics to line up before we say we're going to lower it,” Ortt said. “We can prevent accidents and we can prevent possible fatalities and make our schools safer.”
Ortt said this is a problem in two school districts in his senate district, and he believes this common sense legislation will make those communities and all others that might have this problem safer.
Out in Geneseo they had a similar problem. DOT did not lower the speed limit on Route 39. Earlier this year, a high school freshman was hit and killed in that area. Ortt wants to prevent accidents like this.
Ortt's bill is in committee right now. He says he's hopeful other senators will vote to pass it and he already has a sponsor in the Assembly.