JUNEAU – On Wednesday, House Democratic Leader Chris Tuck and Senator Berta Gardner introduced legislation to require school zone markings at all school locations, in an effort to slow traffic and improve studentsâ€™ safety in the vicinity of a school.
“Every student should be able to get to and from school safely, no matter what type of school they attend,” said Tuck (D-Anchorage). “It’s high time we add school zones to bring more attention to the children, slow traffic around all schools, and hopefully prevent tragic accidents.”
Currently, municipalities are not required to create school zones around private, charter, or religious schools. Under the legislation, a municipality would have the discretion to place signs, speed zones, lights or other measures appropriate for the location.
“It’s basic common sense”, said Gardner (D-Anchorage). “Drivers should be alerted wherever children are present in large numbers and at risk.”
“The safety and well-being of all Alaska’s children should be our top priority. School zones are essential regardless of the type of school or the funding it receives. Charter schools are public schools and it is shocking that Alaska doesn’t already require mandatory school zones to be in place around charter school buildings,” said Joey Eski, chair of the Academic Policy Committee for Aquarian Charter School.
This bill would also require a sign indicating these school zones are drug free school zones.