Improving Road Safety for School Children

How can we use technology to make roads safer for schools?

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 10.09.22 AMModern technology has jumped forward, everything in today’s world is getting connected to the internet, making things easier to manage. We can now utilize these technological breakthroughs to make our school roadways safer. We use school zone flashers to ensure that we slow vehicles down during school start and end times. Speed feedback radars are used to verify if vehicles are slowing down in school zones and notify the authorities on problems areas. In addition, we can also utilize mobile weather sensors to help determine if the roadways are safe for schools today.

Improving school zone flashing beacons

Most schools currently utilize school zone flashing beacons to reduce the speed limit during school start and end times. The problem is verifying their operational status, as the only way is to go to the sign physically every day to test them. New technology can monitor if school beacons areSchool Speed Limit operating correctly, by monitoring the power, possible failures of the lamps or batteries, and instantly alerts the necessary resources. These new school zone flashing beacons have a cloud based software system and each beacon has its own cellular modem to handle all communication. This allows city personnel to change the school schedules remotely from any computer to ensure the beacons are turning on at the correct times. These systems allow you to quickly adjust your beacon schedules for weather events and special days.

Are the vehicles actually slowing down?

By utilizing speed feedback radars we can determine if motorists are actually driving the speed limit. We can calculate in real time the median and the 85th percentile speed of the vehicles to see if vehicles are adhering to the speed limit. With this information, we can alert the authorities when motorists are not adhering to the active school zone areas. Median Speed85th percentile speedAre the weather conditions safe for school?

Most often city personnel drive a patrol vehicle around the city early in the morning to determine if the roadways are safe for school. Mobile weather sensors can be installed on the patrol vehicles that measure the roadway conditions such as grip levels, ice percentage, black ice risk, snow and temperature. These sensors then paint a picture of the city roadways to help city personnel determine if the roadways are safe for school, as well as alerting resources to deal with problem areas.

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