Improving Safety in School Zones
Each year the United States, around 100 children are killed on their commute to-and-from-school. What’s even more shocking is that the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority reported that 25,000 students are injured from accidents within school zones. There was a 32% increase statewide in school zone traffic violations in the 2018-2019 school year, according to the administrative office of PA Courts. In the last 5 years, a little over 32,000 drivers were cited in PA for speeding or illegally passing a school bus.
With 2/3 of drivers exceeding the legal speed limits when passing through school zones, it is imperative that drivers adhere to posted speed limits to avoid the tragic loss of life or injury. Pavement markings and school zone traffic signage play an important role in enhancing everyone’s safety in school zones because it is providing necessary information to motorists. Not only do clear crosswalks and pavement markings help warn drivers of upcoming threats, but they also help direct pedestrians to mobilize in a safer manner.
The MUTCD sets forth principles and standards for regulating traffic in school zone areas, although many states and local jurisdictions provide additional guidance. In and around school zones, safety signage is significantly important to reduce the number of incidents that occur within it. Such signs include: speed limit signs, school zone advance warning and end school zone signs, school crossing signs, flashers, and radar speed signs. Speed limit signs in school zones are usually 15 to 25 mph. Advance warning signs let drivers know when they are entering or leaving the reduced speed area. School crossing signs show drivers that there are crosswalks in the area. Flashers are often on speed limit signs or crosswalks to grab the attention of drivers. Radar speed signs show drivers their actual speed limit at the time and are scientifically proven to reduce speeding.
Additional measures can also be implemented to enforce and maintain traffic control strategies and safety of students, pedestrians and motorists. Delineators, safety cones, speed bumps, vertical panel barricades, accessible sidewalks and curb ramps.
By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones. School zone safety must be a combined effort between local traffic officials, police, school officials, parents and students. D.E. Gemmill can help you maintain a high level of school zone safety on an affordable budget while keeping you MUTCD compliant. Our services can help you promote a high level of traffic awareness to help assist in keeping students, motorists and pedestrians safe and reduce the likelihood of school zone accidents. Contact us for your school zone signage, advanced warning signs, pavement markings, crosswalks, and traffic calming devices at 717-755-9794.