What are the best traffic calming measures for schools?
Let’s rewind and imagine the world in the 1950s. There were very few automobiles, and the traffic problems were not so profound. The people used bicycles or rail trains for their daily travelling chores.
Everything was so streamlined, and no one back then would have imagined that automobiles would evolve so much and pedestrian safety could emerge as a major challenge for municipalities and jurisdictions.
However, an automobile is now considered necessary, and every household has at least one vehicle. Therefore, this has led to high traffic volume and problems like roadblocks and traffic congestion. It has also caused danger to pedestrian safety in schools, parking lots, public places, and road lanes.
A report suggested that around 25,000 students are injured due to vehicle collisions per year. Therefore, transportation engineers developed plenty of traffic calming measures to address the issue of pedestrian safety.
Over the last several years, many inventions have improved traffic calming strategies near school zones. Let’s see what causes accidents near school zones and what traffic measures best address the issues.
What causes accidents in school zones?
Most of the accidents in school zones are the result of both drivers and students. Therefore, there’s not one person to blame.
Firstly, distracted driving is one of the reasons that cause school accidents. Motorists tend to drive and text, which distracts them from the road.
As a result, they can collide or crash into someone unknowingly due to distractions. The rampant rise of digital media contributes to distracted driving, which can have adverse implications.
Secondly, many motorists may enable autopilot driving in school zones, possibly leading to collisions.
Even students’ behaviour can be harmful because they can dart suddenly into traffic lanes, cross the roads without any safety, and play in high-volume traffic lanes. Many students ignore the consequences and can cross high-traffic intersections and roadways without considering the traffic flow.
Similarly, students are immersed in their mobile phones, texting their friends, surfing social media, listening to songs, and watching videos. They might be walking on the streets, completely unaware of the traffic.
As a result, this can even be a dangerous threat because students are at risk of collisions.
The above-mentioned are common factors that contribute to road accidents in school zones. Let’s delve into the best vertical, horizontal, and regulatory measures that can reduce the adverse impacts of traffic flow.
School Regulatory Traffic Control Devices
Some of the regulatory measures to control the traffic flow are as follows:
Signages are important in schools. There can be pavement signs and school zone signs to alert the driver. Pavement can alert drivers about the pedestrian block, enabling them to slow down their vehicles.
Similarly, school signs regarding entry and exit of school gates are also important traffic control signs for traffic control. A MUTCD rule book defines the necessary signages and their importance in creating awareness.
- Other signs
There are other signs, including the speed limit, and it’s prescribed that a limit of around 20 miles per hour is perfect for school zones. Radar signs can alert the driver about their speed, and flashers can also intimidate drivers into being cautious.
- Pedestrian traffic signals
Another measure is to utilize pedestrian traffic signals. Pedestrians have the option to activate the “Walking sign” on the signals that can alert the driver about the situation.
It’s quite effective because pedestrians can easily walk without any fear. Similarly, sidewalks can be levelled and made of hard surfaces, making it easy for parents and children to cross and avoid collisions.
- Crossing guards
You must have seen those crossing guards who aren’t in the limelight, but they control the traffic. They are the only reason there is a clear diversion of traffic, which is why they deserve every appreciation.
From controlling the traffic flow to helping people cross the roads, these enforcers play an effective role.
Are vertical deflection systems the best for schools and kids?
Many parents complain that they can’t send their children alone to school or playgrounds because of traffic issues and the absence of any traffic management system.
Vertical deflection systems are the most popular and sought-after way to control traffic. According to one study, parents are much more inclined to send their kids out to play in the presence of traffic solutions. In this way, it supports their child’s development.
Vertical deflections are the first to emerge as traffic measures among many traffic control devices. Several devices include speed bumps, humps, and speed cushions. All of them are successful in reducing traffic speed and ensuring safety.
They are considered the best by society, but they have some underlying concerns, which are as follows:
- They can cause serious damage to vehicles, causing frustration among motorists. There’s a high chance that motorists can unknowingly hit a speed bump, damaging the car’s suspensions, tires, and alignments and posing a serious threat. Fortunately, rubber speed cushions and bumps are in process, which is easy on vehicles.
- Imagine a school street and the noise of horns buzzing, vehicles skidding, and vibrations from speed bumps. It can be quite annoying and harmful to your ears. Therefore, traffic noise is one disadvantage of speed cushions. Fortunately, rubber speed cushions can solve this problem and reduce possible noise.
- A general concern is that speed bumps cause emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks to slow down, leading to adverse impacts. Fortunately, speed cushions solve this problem because they are installed in gaps, allowing them to pass without disturbance.
What are other road manipulation traffic measures?
Besides these common and useful traffic calming measures, there are plenty of other solutions. Horizontal deflections and education are different ways of manipulating the road design that discourages drivers from speeding. Some of them include:
This method narrows the road lanes. Chicanes and chokers can help to achieve it. Just picture for a moment that you’re travelling on the road, and suddenly, you enter a phase where the road is quite narrow from both sides.
Such a method is known as chokers. On the other hand, Chicanes create alternative narrowing that makes driving difficult for motorists. Hence causing them to slow down. These are useful in school zones because alternating pathways can confuse drivers and make them cautious.
Another way is to install textured pavements that alert drivers to enter pedestrian zones. Similarly, tree installations can curb road lanes and cause motorists to lower their speed.
They are a median island in the middle of an intersection, providing easy traffic diversion. They are a popular method in schools that can help parents navigate to a particular department without causing any traffic disturbance.
Education safety programs
Lastly, creating education safety programs, including the knowledge of traffic signals, can make people aware of drivers. Moreover, traffic laws and police enforcement can use fines or speeding tickets to discourage drivers from going too fast.
A school is a public place with huge traffic during school hours. Therefore, there is a need to develop traffic solutions.
The transportation department is trying to issue new measures in every school zone to avoid traffic consequences. The enforcement departments and guards in the school ensure everything is in check and vehicles move in coordination. But there is still a probability of traffic mishaps.
Are you a school principal who is concerned about the growing traffic and accident rates? Do you even have any traffic measures in place? If you’re unaware of the traffic solutions and want to end these problems, Sino Concept has got you covered.
Starting from the basics, we can help you install vertical deflection measures like recycled rubber speed bumps and speed cushions that effectively reduce speed. Visit our website and find speed cushions according to your preferences.
To learn more, we advise you to refer to the following pages: