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Yes, Florida high schools on state highways can get reduced speed zones

Orange Park High School is right at the intersection of two state highways, but the speed limit doesn't change, even at dismissal times.

ORANGE PARK, Fla. — Six lanes, hundreds of cars and no school zone.

The heavy traffic on Blanding Boulevard has some Clay County parents concerned for their students' safety.

Blanding Boulevard's speed limit right in front of Orange Park High School is 45 miles per hour. Kingsley Avenue on the other side of the school is 40 mph. Both roads are state highways.

A parent emailed Ask Anthony, wondering if anything can be done to slow cars down and keep kids safe.

"Every time I come by, I think the same thing," said Eric Denfeld, who's children graduated from Orange Park High School. "Some kid is going to get hit again."

Eric Denfeld's kids graduated from Orange Park High School more than five years ago, yet, he still thinks about when a girl was hit by a car on Blanding Boulevard while his kids were at the school.

"35 is the bare minimum," said Denfeld. "It's the life of the kids."


Can a Florida high schools get a reduced speed zone, despite being on a state highway?


  • Florida Department of Transportation Spokesperson Hampton Ray
  • FDOT's speed zoning manual
  • Clay County Schools 
  • Florida State Legislature


Yes, a high school on a state highway can get a reduced speed zone, if the conditions are right.


This is true.


Chapter 316 of the state legislature says a school zone in a municipality is the responsibility of the municipality.

However, if a school zone is on a state road, it falls to FDOT.

"If parents or students themselves desire a school zone, they can reach out to the district, and then they will work with FDOT engineers," said Ray. "We'll evaluate the area, see what needs to be done."

Ray pointed out Orange Park High School does have a school zone, with signs, crosswalks and road markings, however, the speed never drops, even at dismissal.

According to section 15 of FDOT's speed zoning manual, high schools are addressed on a case by case basis and require an engineering study.

A Clay County Schools spokesperson confirmed the district could ask FDOT for a study, but there's no guarantee that study will determine a speed zone is necessary.

Although the answer is yes, there's no plan currently to bring a speed zone to Orange Park High, and the best path for any parents who want to see that happen is to bring it up to their representative on the school board. They can request FDOT to study it.


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