Chadron’s New School Zone Rules Now In Effect


    This is the first full week of the city of Chadron’s new School Zone rules.

The city council passed or updated the appropriate ordinances last month and signs designating the school zones and speed limits were installed last Thursday.

      School Resource Officer Derek Bauer says while Chadron has had school zones for many years with 15 mph speed limits, they weren’t clearly defined in statute or by signs.

     Some signs were within a half-block of a school while others were as far as 2 blocks away, hours weren’t specified, and there were no signs marking where a school zone ended.

Officer Bauer says all that has changed.

The hours the school zone rules are in effect are also now precise: 7:00-5:00 on school days. 

     Bauer says the defined hours start early enough to cover students coming to class early and run late enough to fill the Chadron district’s after-school program, providing greater safety to children and parents coming after work to pick them up.

      Also adding to student safety are 13 new stop signs at 4 intersections near schools. Officer Bauer says the signs should keep drivers more attentive, reduce accidents, and improve traffic flows.

      The new signs, among other things, create 4-way stops in front of the Intermediate School on Norfolk at Mears and Lake, and west of the Primary School on Shelton at 7th and 8th. 

      Chadron Street Superintendent Casey Keim says the signage portion of the project cost less than $4,500 by using the city’s inventory and adding placards with the new hours to the old speed zone signs.

      The bulk of the cost was for additional stop signs and the new signs marking the end of a school zone with the speed limit going back up to 25 mph. 

     Although the new rules are now in effect, citations won’t be issued until school starts in the fall. Bauer says officers in the meantime will make traffic stops and issue warnings to get drivers ready for the fall enforcement.