Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 31. Traffic Control in School Zones.


§ 38–3101. Installation of traffic control devices.

(a) The District Department of Transportation ("DDOT") shall install traffic control devices, as deemed necessary, after completing an investigation of school zones.

(a-1)(1) Beginning July 31, 2016, the DDOT shall complete the investigation required in subsection (a) of this section for a new school no later than 60 days after the first day on which students begin classes at the school.

(2) The District of Columbia Public Schools and the Public Charter School Board shall notify the DDOT of a new school no later than 90 days before the first day on which students will begin classes at the school.

(3) For the purposes of this subsection, the term "new school" means:

(A) A school located in a never-before-occupied structure, except for a structure erected in an existing school zone; or

(B) A school located in a preexisting structure that has not been used as a District of Columbia public school or public charter school within the last 5 years.

(b) The DDOT shall, when conducting an investigation, consider the number of persons who have been struck by a vehicle, bicycle, or motorcycle in a school zone, the likelihood of these accidents occurring in the future and the volume of traffic.

(c) The District of Columbia Public Schools and the Metropolitan Police Department shall submit monthly statistical reports to the DDOT which shall include:

(1) The number of persons who were hit by a vehicle, bicycle or motorcycle in and around school zones; and

(2) The type of injuries suffered.

(d) The information in subsection (c) of this section shall be made available, within 15 days from the date of request from the DDOT.

(d-1) A public charter school shall coordinate with the Metropolitan Police Department to provide the DDOT with the information in subsection (c)(1) and (2) of this section no later than 15 days after the date of the request.

(e)(1) School zones shall have a speed limit posted at 15 miles per hour and signs erected warning of the presence of children. For those school zones that have a traffic control device, signs shall be erected warning of the presence of these devices.

(2) The DDOT shall place the traffic control device, deemed necessary under subsection (a) of this section, on every street within 100 yards of any school building within a school zone.

(f) Crossing guards shall be placed at elementary schools, middle or junior high schools, and high schools where considered necessary by the DDOT, working collaboratively with the District of Columbia Public Schools and with the affected local public school or public charter school.

(f-1) The DDOT shall provide, by July 31st of each year, recommendations to the Mayor, the Council, the Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, the Public Charter School Board, and the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department on the deployment of school crossing guards, taking into account the impact of school closings and reconfigurations, projected enrollment, traffic conditions, investigations conducted pursuant to subsections (a) and (a-1) of this section, and all other relevant factors.

(g) Traffic control devices, where installed and posted throughout the city and made available as the budget allows, pursuant to this section or otherwise, shall not be deemed obstructions of the road or street. No cause of action at law or in equity, nor any administrative action shall be maintained against the District government for damages by traffic control devices.

(h) The fine for speeding pursuant to 18 DCMR § 2600.1 shall be doubled when the infraction occurs in a school zone.

(i) The Mayor shall submit a report to the Council which shall include the findings of the investigation and the type of traffic control devices that should be installed at all school zones within 60 days from May 23, 2000.

(j) For purposes of this chapter, “traffic control devices” includes traffic signals, flashing red and yellow signals, stop signs, signs that warn of the presence of children, markers, speed humps or bumps, rumble strips, or signs that reduce the speed limit.


(May 23, 2000, D.C. Law 13-111, § 2, 47 DCR 2206; Sept. 18, 2007, D.C. Law 17-20, § 6023, 54 DCR 7052; Mar. 21, 2009, D.C. Law 17-320, § 3, 56 DCR 219; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 4112, 63 DCR 10775.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-132.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-20 rewrote subsec. (f), which had read as follows: “(f) At least one crossing guard shall be placed at elementary schools. Crossing guards shall be placed at middle or junior high schools, and high schools where deemed necessary by the Metropolitan Police Department.”

D.C. Law 17-320 added subsec. (f-1).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 6023 of Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-74, July 25, 2007, 54 DCR 7549).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of School Proximity Traffic Calming Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-169, October 25, 2007, 54 DCR 10980).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 17-94, in subsec. (a), substituted “school zones and streets directly bordering recreation centers, libraries, and public parks” for “school zones”; in subsec. (b), substituted “school zone or on streets directly bordering recreation centers, libraries, and public parks” for “school zone”; in subsec. (c)(1), substituted “schools zones and on streets directly bordering recreation centers, libraries, and public parks” for “school zones”; in subsec. (e), in par. (1), substituted “School zones and streets directly bordering recreation centers, libraries, and public parks” for “School zones” and “school zones and streets directly bordering recreation centers, libraries, and public parks” for “School zones”, and amended par. (2) to read as follows:

“(2) The Mayor shall place the traffic control device, deemed necessary under subsection (a) of this section, on every street within 100 yards of a:

“(A) School building within a school zone;

“(B) Recreation center;

“(C) Library; or

“(D) Public park.”; in subsec. (h), substituted “school zone or on streets directly bordering recreation centers, libraries, and public parks” for “school zone”; and in subsec. (i), substituted “school zones, recreation centers, libraries, and public parks within 60 days from October 15, 2007” for “school zones within 60 days from the effective date of this act”.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 17-94 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.