TEMPE, Ariz. — As the school year begins, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is highlighting school zone safety in an effort to remind drivers about the need to be cautious, alert and attentive, especially around schools and school buses.
To help raise awareness about school zone safety, ATS released its report, "How to Help Eliminate Dangers of Traveling to and from School (and Keep Kids Safe)." The report presents the dangers children face as they walk, bike, ride a scooter, skate or ride the bus to and from school, and details some of the successes schools and cities are having with new solutions to both change driver behavior and enhance student safety, company officials said.
Every year, on average, 100 children are killed and 25,000 are injured walking to and from school, according to ATS. The company attributes many of these incidents to drivers who are distracted, speeding through school zones or illegally passing stopped school buses as children move toward or away from the bus. Enforcing traffic laws can help reduce these hazards, company officials said, but the demands on officers make it challenging for them to maintain a constant presence on school buses and in school zones on a daily basis.
ATS officials added the report shows automated enforcement is a proven deterrent to excessive speeding in school zones and the practice of illegally passing school buses that are stopped to let children on or off.
Results in the report show:
• In Des Moines, Washington, the number of motorists speeding in front of Woodmont Elementary School decreased by 82% in the first six months of the city's school zone speed safety camera program.
• The city of Seattle has seen a 27% reduction in the number of violations issued since their school zone speed safety camera program started in December 2012.
• In Georgia, the state with the highest number of school bus passing violations in the U.S., according to company officials, ATS' CrossingGuard school bus stop arm safety cameras are reducing the threat to children from illegal passes. Violations decreased 50% in Cobb County, 53% in Muscogee County and 42% in Marietta after cameras were installed on buses to record illegal passes.
"This report should help remind all of us of the persistent dangers that students face," said Charles Territo, ATS senior president of communications, marketing and public affairs. "Around the country law enforcement and school districts are looking for new ways to increase student safety. We're proud of how our school zone speed cameras and school bus stop arm safety solutions are helping keep children safe every day."
Watch a video version of "How to Help Eliminate Dangers of Traveling to and from School (and Keep Kids Safe)":
Watch a video of school zone speed and school bus stop arm violations: