School Zone Safety and Crossing Guards

Updated: Jun 11

School Zone Safety
School Zone Safety

A child or teen pedestrian is killed or injured by a motorist in the U.S. every hour of every day.

According to the Transportation Research Board, approximately 100 students die from motor vehicles each year walking to and from school, and another 25,000 are injured.

A survey conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide revealed the alarming news that 40 percent of teens under the age of 19 reported having been hit or nearly hit by a car, bike, or motorcycle while walking. Almost half of these incidents involved a distraction by mobile devices.

Have you ever tried to cross through a school zone but were pulled over and ticketed? Speeding cars can cause a lot of anxiety for parents and school faculty. Kids do not have the same awareness of traffic danger as adults so driving in school zones requires mindful observance of the children and extra attention to the traffic laws. If you find yourself caught in a school zone, you need to know the speed limit, and your state's specific laws for school areas, as well as knowing your legal rights and responsibilities. Every state has different laws regarding school zones. If in doubt, it is best to slow down to 10 MPH when children are present and stay below 20 MPH anytime school is in session.

Many schools across the nation are adopting The School Zone Safety Program to protect children pedestrians by utilizing automated speed monitors. These monitors help to catch vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit in school zones. If a vehicle is speeding in a school safety zone, photos and video are captured by state-of-the-art technology and the driver will receive a speeding ticket in the mail. Schools should also place signs to caution drivers as to the no-passing zones and motorists must understand that crossing the no-passing zone is dangerous.

Today, there are three types of school zone safety system options to help crossing guards keep our kids safe.

  • School Zone Speed Camera - The speed camera is a radar gun that is mounted on a pole outside of the school. School zones include walkways, hallways, parking lots, outdoor basketball courts, and tennis courts. School zones also include entrances to gymnasiums, cafeterias, locker rooms, lunchrooms, classrooms, and administrative offices. Because the camera cannot see through many of these obstacles, higher tolerance of speed must be enforced. The camera pole displays a stop sign showing the minimum acceptable speed for that school zone. When a motorist exceeds the posted speed limit, it activates a signal and sends a photo and audio signal to the control panel alerting police, and the driver of the vehicle is issued a citation.

  • School Zone Flashing Beacons - School zone flashings or beacons are effective school zone safety systems because they allow motorists to identify crossing zones. School zone flashing beacons and signs comprise a triangle and/or lighted dot.

  • Crosswalk With Signs - Specifically designed school zone crosswalks have curbs or raised walkways and act as a helpful guide for pedestrians and drivers near schools even when crossing guards are not present. Pedestrian crosswalks help reduce speeding.

Technology and signage are effective in aiding school crossing guards to help assure that children may safely enter and leave school zones.

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