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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
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Publication Number: FHWA-RD-99-089
Date: December 1999
Research, Development, and Implementation of Pedestrian Safety Facilities in the United Kingdom
9. School Zone Safety
9.1 Safe routes to schools
There has recently been increased attention by DETR, local authorities, and non-governmental organizations given to improving the safety of routes to schools for child pedestrians and cyclists (Wood, 1995). This typically involves a combination of traffic calming techniques, provision of crossings, and shared-use pedestrian and cyclist paths. As reported accidents on the school journey are relatively rare (Hillman et al, 1991), this tends to address fears about traffic danger along the route and the difficulties of crossing busy roads, rather than specific accident problems. In addition, 32 km/h (20 mi/h) zones, while not providing specific routes to schools, have proved effective at reducing child casualties and increasing the confidence of parents and children to walk (Webster and Mackie, 1996). Clarke (1997) has positively evaluated the pilot Safe Routes to Schools projects initiated by the charity Sustrans.
Figure 12. Thirty-two km/h (20mi/h) zone on United Kingdom street.
9.2 Other measures
Variable message signs have been tested in the vicinity of schools to warn drivers of excessive speed. Although these have shown some speed reducing effects, they are expensive and less effective compared to physical traffic calming measures and therefore generally considered unsuitable.