MARYLAND (DC News Now) — A bill introduced in the Maryland General Assembly could reduce the area around schools where drivers must slow down. The legislation would impact schools statewide and some parents and students disagree with the move.

Maryland Senate Bill 0011 proposes a reduction in the size of the school zone where drivers are required to slow down. The area around certain schools would go from a half-mile radius to a tenth of a mile.

For example, the red circle represents the current half-mile school zone radius at Chevy Chase Elementary School. The blue circle represents the proposed one-tenth-of-a-mile radius.

Comparison of current school zone and the proposed reduced radius.

When shown the comparison, some parents voiced their disapproval of the move. Some believe the zones should even be larger, especially in neighborhoods with a higher population of students who walk to school.

“That is definitely not good for kids and pedestrians around the school,” Montgomery County parent Joyce Leung said. “It would be the best if they keep it the original way.”

If the bill passes, it would require jurisdictions to install new signage and potentially relocate speed cameras. But some parents say speed cameras alone are not enough.

“The cameras, I don’t know sometimes I think they often are just about collecting revenue,” Jen Douglas-Craig said. “But I do feel like in school zones, it is really important to like hold people accountable to actually go the speed limit.”

Montgomery County Public School student Noah Governski says he feels safe walking to school only when he’s near a crossing guard. The 11-year-old hopes lawmakers will not support the bill.

“There’s a lot of areas that there’s no speed bumps and people do go fast unless they’re right next to the crossing guard,” Governski said.

“Safety should be a higher priority than people wanting to drive fast.”

Noah Governski, MCPS student

The bill doesn’t specify which schools across the state could be affected. But if this does pass, it would take effect on July 1, 2023.