COLUMBUS -- Communities would be allowed to establish lower speed limit zones on roads near boarding schools, under legislation passed by the Ohio Senate Dec. 8.

HB 455 moved on a vote of 31-0 and heads back to the Ohio House for consideration of Senate amendments.

Existing state law allows the creation of school zones with speed limits of 20 mph during certain hours -- before and after school and during recess. But current law does not recognize boarding schools as part of those zones.

HB 455 would enable local communities to establish zones at boarding schools, setting speed limits, effective hours and other details in consultation with school administration and county engineer.

The law changes were offered by Reps. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson), both of whom have boarding schools located in their districts, including the Western Reserve Academy in Hudson.

HB 455 was amended in the Ohio Senate to establish a 35 mph speed limit on county and township highways located within national parks that span two more counties -- namely the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

"I'm a proud representative of a large portion of our Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and we had an issue with speed limits there," said Sen. Frank LaRose (R-Hudson), who serves as chairman of the Senate committee that considered the legislation and who offered the amendment.

The final legislation also designated half a dozen memorial highways across the state and six specialty license plates.

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter @OhioCapitalBlog.