The Reason Behind a 20 MPH School Speed Zone

Slower speeds provide more reaction time to unexpected student’s actions; reaction time for both the driver and the pedestrian. A standard reactionary time used in these calculations is 1.5 seconds. During that reactionary time the vehicle is still traveling at a given rate of feet per second. In addition to reaction time and stopping distance collisions at a lower speeds generally will cause less injury. The fatality rate for pedestrians or bicyclists struck by a vehicle at higher speeds is much greater than at lower speeds. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle at 40 mph is almost always a fatality. If the vehicle is going 30 mph a pedestrian has 60 percent chance of surviving, but will likely not be walking away from the collision and may sustain life altering injuries. Even five miles per hour can make a big difference to the pedestrian.

Children are generally carefree and are often oblivious to their surroundings; that is why it’s important that drivers go the extra length to protect them. It only takes a moment for a child to run out in front of your vehicle and, if you are speeding, you may not have enough time to react.

A pedestrian hit at 20 mph has a 90 percent chance of survival. The transition from minor to major injuries occurs between 20 mph and 30 mph. 30 mph is a dangerous speed and potentially life changing for the injured pedestrian. With the reduced speed, more collisions are avoided by making it easier to brake, as well as reducing the severity of injuries should a collision occur.

LED flashing school zone signs will be installed near Park Elementary, Paradise Valley Elementary, Oregon Trail Elementary, and Fort Caspar Academy. The schools were selected due to high traffic flows on streets neighboring the schools. Flashers will be placed on S David, W 9th Street, Robertson Road, Paradise Drive, and W 39th Street.

September 2, 2015 at 7:00 a.m. – June 8th, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. 1,657 citations. The majority of these citations the speeds were between 8 -12 miles an hour over the posted 20 mph sign.