Keeping children safe at school is one of the highest concerns we have as parents, teachers, administrators, and as a community. No one wants to discover a flaw in design or planning that puts children at risk only after an accident has occurred. Double check your school’s design and planning to prevent pedestrian accidents around your school.
Evaluate your school’s traffic management measures in these next five areas to spot problem areas before an accident happens.
School Population and Demographics
- What age range are the students? Younger students are at a higher risk of being struck by a car.
- How many students are there?
- Is the school on a standard 9 month school year or 12 months?
- Is it a closed campus?
- Is there a map of the school area and bus routes?
- Is the map of area and routes up to date?
- How do children get to school (percentage walk, bus, ride)?
- Are there policies in place governing how children get to school?
- How is traffic manage around the school (trucks limited, school zones, etc)
- Is there an adult crossing guard program at the school?
- Are there student volunteer safety patrols?
- Does the school have safe corridors for student pedestrians?
- What roads do walkers need to cross? Are there cross walks?
- Is there a designated bus pick up/ drop off zone?
- Is there a designated child pick up/ drop off area for parents separate from the bus area?
- Are drive ways, parking lots and roadways well marked and clear?
- Is there a traffic management plan in place for the school?
- Is the traffic management plan followed/enforced?
- Are playgrounds surrounded by secure fencing?
- Who is responsible in the local or county government for traffic management decisions?
Education- does the school have programs for:
- Bicycle helmet education
- Seat belt education
- Pedestrian safety education
- Parent/ caregiver education/ outreach
- Are speed limits posted near the school?
- Are drivers adhering to the posted speed limits?
- Are programmable school zone signs in use?
- What agency is responsible for traffic enforcement around the school?
- What enforcement measures are being used? How often?
This check list is based on the official School Zone Traffic Safety Evaluation developed by the Colorado Department of Transportation Safety and Traffic Engineering Branch. It was developed as a survey to assist the Colorado Department of Transportation identify schools that might benefit from traffic calming measures.
If this survey has revealed areas of weakness in your school’s pedestrian safety plans, contact the local or county government agency that is responsible for traffic management in your area to request a traffic engineering study. Beefing up pedestrian safety before there is a tragedy will never be regretted.