Enhancing safety in Marion County school zones
Location: Marion County – Indianapolis, IN
Distributor: Carrier & Gable Inc
Lighting Designer: Shrewsberry & Associates LLC
Overview: Marion County, the most populous county in Indiana, aimed to make school zone signage more visible to motorists. Here, school zone signs lacked flashing beacons of any kind, relying on signage alone for driver compliance—which required drivers to scrutinize posted times to determine if they needed to slow down to 25 mph. To help ensure the safety of children in about 150 public and private schools in the county, the Indianapolis Department of Public Works aimed to find a solution that would also make it easier for drivers to follow the rules.
Our solution: 519 R829 School Zone Beacons, provided through distributor Carrier & Gable. The school zone beacons flash only on days when school is in session, warning drivers to slow to 25 mph for one hour before school starts to one hour after, followed by one-half hour before afternoon dismissal to 1½ hours after. Carrier & Gable also integrated a cell-based monitoring system to help reduce maintenance visits. With these beacons installed county-wide, drivers know what to expect and look for when approaching any school zone, while the individual schools still can customize the times their beacons flash to ensure maximum safety for students. R920 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) were also installed at crosswalks for safe mid-block crossing at all times of the day.
"As we installed the beacons around schools, the overwhelming response from school leaders was positive. The feedback indicates that some schools have seen a difference in motorists’ habits since the beacons have been installed."
– Betsy Whitmore, Chief Communications Officer, Indianapolis Department of Public Works
Photo credit for main image: Betsy Whitmore, Indianapolis Department of Public Works