Location: Springfield, Washington
Project size: Two SpeedCheck® radar speed signs
Overview: Teachers and administrators at Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, Washington were concerned about the rush-hour traffic and speeding cars that travel down the busy road just outside their school yard. As a school zone, drivers are required by law to slow down during school hours but most didn’t. Stop signs, speed bumps and even police patrols were unable to provide the continuous traffic safety measures that parents and teachers demanded.
The Springfield Elementary School was built alongside a road that has become a highway access for local residents. Each weekday morning, the area is packed with drivers trying to get to work as well as school children on their way to class. To ensure the safety of the students, the city of Springfield first attempted a few other solutions, but they didn’t have the results they were looking for:
- posted signs reminding drivers they are to required by law to reduce their speed during school hours or when children are present
- speed bumps on the adjoining streets
- the presence of police with radar guns didn’t work long term
Our Solution: Immediately after installing two SpeedCheck speed signs along the schoolyard road, school officials observed a dramatic reduction in overall traffic speeds. Instead of relying on the drivers to remember that speed limits were reduced during certain hours, the scheduling feature of the signs were set to automatically display the proper limit for any time of the day or night.
A member of the police force suggested the school look into installing an electronic speed limit sign with scheduling capabilities. He said he had heard of other school districts that had found the electronic to have an immediate and long-lasting effect on calming traffic.
The street outside of Springfield Elementary School now has two SpeedCheck speed limit signs permanently mounted alongside the road. Each weekday morning the signs automatically change to display the slower speed limit in effect during school hours. School officials also set the signs to change during weekend soccer games and other events when children safety is of heightened concern. Ever since the signs have been installed, school administrators have labeled the situation: Problem Solved.
Safe Routes to School Program
As we become increasingly concerned about the declining health of our children, the worsening of traffic congestion, and the condition of our environment, communities across the country are working together to encourage students to walk and bike to school. With so much at stake, it’s not surprising that much attention is being focused on school zone safety and preventing vehicle-pedestrian accidents where children are present.
In August 2005, federal transportation legislation allocated $612 million from 2005-2009 to fund National Safe Routes to School (SRTS). These funds are available to you to help you improve school zone safety and reduce traffic near primary and middle schools.
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