There are currently 81.5 million schoolchildren (US Dept of Education) and over 18 million college students (National Center for Education) enrolled in school in the US. Creating safe routes for children and university students as they go to and from school each day is a fundamental goal of every city and school district. Traffic in and around schools can be heavy and drivers often don’t notice the lower speed limits in effect.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic accidents that involve pedestrians are most likely to occur between the hours of 6-9 am and 3-6 pm – the hours when students are traveling to and from school. How can you ensure that students can arrive and depart safely each day?
The American Journal of Public Health, in a study on childhood road safety, found that traffic calming was more effective in preventing child pedestrian injuries than road safety education, which was “unable to exert meaningful changes in the behavior of children.”
Traffic Logix offers several affordable options to help calm traffic in and around schools and college campuses. The compact SafePace 100 and full size SafePace 400 “Your Speed” radar signs are popular choices for schools. The SafePace 500 sign is a variable speed limit that can be programmed to display lower speed limits when they are in effect. The SafePace 600 sign offers dynamic messaging so that you can program the message shown to speeding drivers such as “Slow Down.”
The SafePace signs are all compatible with the optional school zone beacon system. The system includes a set of beacons that can be programmed to flash during school hours, alerting drivers that lower speed limits are in effect. A recent Safe Kids study found that drivers were less likely to be distracted in school zones with flashing lights installed.
Speed cushions are also a popular option for school zones since they are economical and emergency-vehicle friendly.
The National Safe Routes to School program (http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/) offers funding that can help you improve safety in your school zone.