According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), bicycle and pedestrian safety in school zones should be a top priority of all travelers. Local, state and federal officials oftentimes encourage biking and walking to school for a healthy lifestyle, but the safety of these young ones is oftentimes overlooked. Our state has continuously been a leader in providing safe school areas for our young students to help reduce the risks of bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Arizona. Now we’re turning the attention towards motorists because without cooperation from these individuals, the safety net that school zones are supposed to provide means nothing.
Arizona established low speeds in school zones different than any other state in the country. The system that we use was established back in 1950. Our state pushes a uniform application of a 15 miles per hour speed limit in all school zones from kindergarten through eighth grade. There’s a problem though! These speed limits can’t just be used at crosswalks that are policed by either stop signs or traffic signals. Under the current law, only portable signs and crosswalk markings can be used to enact a 15 mph speed limit. So to get this speed limit, employees set up and remove these devices to get passing traffic to slow down. Normal traffic flow is resumed during non-school hours and when signs are removed.
Our Phoenix bicycle accident lawyers understand that each school zone with a 15 mph speed limit is marked with a fluorescent yellow-green pentagon-shaped warning sign. After this permanent sign is where the portable signs are placed that read, “”NO PASSING, 15 MPH, FINES DOUBLED, SCHOOL IN SESSION.” These portable signs are located from 75 to about 300 feet before the fluorescent sign. The portable signs are posted where the reduced speed limit begins. Drivers are asked to be extremely cautious in these areas. The portable signs are brought out when children are expected to be around school and crossing the street, whether it be on foot or on a bicycle. Reduced speeds are enacted to help to protect our school-aged children. All motorists are asked to be extremely cautious when traveling near schools, whether there are warning signs or not.
In these reduced-speed areas, it’s important that drivers don’t pass other vehicles. Signs in these areas will also alert drivers to stop when children are in the crosswalk. In school areas, drivers are required by law to stop for anyone and everyone using the crosswalk.
Arizona doesn’t use “School Zone Ends” signs either.
Motorists are asked to be extremely cautious when traveling through these areas. Remember that while our students are at increased risks for pedestrian accidents during this time, the crossing guard is the most vulnerable.
Remember that your safe driving habits shouldn’t end in school zones either. When it’s that time of the year and students are back in school, drivers should exercise extreme caution when driving through residential neighborhoods and round school buses as well.
Drivers should be cautious when traveling near big-yellow school buses. Always stop when a bus is stopped. Officers are out in full force making sure that travel is safe for our young students.
To help you to drive safely in these areas, please curb all the distractions. Hang up the cell phone, text message later and groom yourself before you leave the house. By working together, we can all make a difference in the safety of our school children.
If you or your child has been injured in an Arizona pedestrian of bicycle crash, call the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. Call 866-99-ABELS to speak directly to an attorney now.
More Blog Entries:
Make Your New Year’s Resolution to Reduce Risks of Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents in Phoenix, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, January 8, 2012
Phoenix car crashes, pedestrian collisions, and bicycle accidents down in 2009, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, April 29, 2011