Low-cost school zone indicator

The in basket: Donna M. Floyd of Belfair writes, “I have an inexpensive and sure-fire way to stop the confusion as to ‘when children are present'” in school zones.
“When spending time in Mesa, Arizona, I found that they know how to make it work!” she said. “At the designated time in the morning each school day, the crossing guard (or whoever) puts a large white sign on the dividing center line on all roads that border schools and when children are NOT present, the sign is taken away!
“Both sides of this sign shout….. SCHOOL ZONE 15 MPH
ENFORCED.


The in basket: Donna M. Floyd of Belfair writes, “I have an inexpensive and sure-fire way to stop the confusion as to ‘when children are present'” in school zones.
“When spending time in Mesa, Arizona, I found that they know how to make it work!” she said. “At the designated time in the morning each school day, the crossing guard (or whoever) puts a large white sign on the dividing center line on all roads that border schools and when children are NOT present, the sign is taken away!
“Both sides of this sign shout….. SCHOOL ZONE 15 MPH
ENFORCED.
“I have to admit that more than once I was cruising along at the speed limit,” Donna said, “usually 35 to 45 mph, and if it were not for that big sign in the road, I could easily have been given a costly ticket.
“The best part is that all it takes is a big sandwich board, some black paint and a body to place it in the proper spot. The visual impact is far more attention getting than striping or painting directly on the road. Requires far less upkeep too!”
The out basket: The idea got mixed reviews from the state and Kitsap County.
Steve Bennett of the Olympic Region traffic engineers for the state said, “This may or may not work on a city street, but a sandwich board sign placed on the centerline of SR 3 in Belfair would be struck by vehicles on a regular basis. If there is a problem with ‘When Children Are Present’ a school district has the option of the use of a sign stating “20 mph Between the Hours Of …..” or if the school wants to purchase a flashing light, they are permitted to use a sign stating, “20 MPH When Flashing…”. These are the standard school zone warning signs used state and nationwide.”
Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works said such signs are permissible and “we’re not opposed to it if a school were to ask for it. Like the flashing beacons, the cost of this kind of device would be born by the school district.”
And it’s not as inexpensive as Donna thinks, he added. His niece began her job with a school district in Mesa as a crossing guard and putting out the center line signs is part of their job.
They have to be placed by an adult, and an adult must keep the sign in view while it’s there, he said.
Anyone who thinks this is something they’d like to see should approach the school or schools in question about asking for it.

3 thoughts on “Low-cost school zone indicator

  1. OK, Kitsap County, easy solution and it doesn’t take money for signs and no one will get killed putting them in the middle of the road.
    New school zone law:
    Speed limit 20 miles per hour
    In effect 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Mon – Fri
    First Day of School year ’til last day of School year (this part can be worked out during the writing of the law to ensure all school disticts are included)
    This way when a speeder is caught they can’t use the excuse “I didn’t know if the child was going to school or the local 7-11.”
    Easy is it. No children involved, see the school zone sign, glance at your watch everyone knows the day and date, go 20 mph, everyone wins.

  2. I strongly agree with Donna Floyd on Arizona School Zones (Kitsap Sun,
    October 30)
    They do work. I haven’t driven in Arizona recently, but her information
    and my driving
    experience there agree.

    In Arizona, all school zones are alike: 15 miles per hour when posted;
    signs in the middle of the
    road; crossing guard present; and a fine of $700.00 for a first time
    offense.

    One of our problems is the multiplicity of regulations: “When Children
    Are Present;” or “When Lights Are Flashing;” or “When Flagged;” or
    “Between the Hours of So and So;” or “20 Miles Per Hour”
    (and that means anytime–day or night). And “When Children Are Present”
    is always open to debate.
    The legal definition is fairly extensive and detailed.

    I don’t know what the Arizona enforcement people think of their law. It
    might be interesting to find out.
    But from my observation it works well. And I wish our school zone
    regulations were as plain and workable as theirs.

    Donald Payne, 1240 E. Island View Road, Grapeview, WA 98546.
    (360)426-0590.

  3. I too live in Belfair and have myself wanted to address this topic. When they say “when children are present” you go UM !
    To me the speed should be 20 miles per hour starting an hour before school starts until an hour after school lets out.
    allowing for buses and parents bringing the kids and again for when their picking them up.
    After all, the Sand Hill Elementary on Sand Hill Rd. in Belfair has theirs set up from 8 a.m. till 9 p.m. Hmm, whys that?
    And then you get up by North Mason High School and they do not even have a speed ajustment, and that is a school zone. So what if the school sits back off the highway some , the fact is there are still students, buses, and kids walking, but that speed limit is 50 miles no matter what. I will also add that most cars appear to be doing more lie 60 plus so I’d say there’s a lot of changes that should be made here.
    Thank you for the chance to speak what I think of this.

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