Enhancing School Zone and School Bus Safety
Traffic crashes involving school-age children are a serious safety concern, as there has been an increase in the number of school-age pedestrians and cyclists injured and killed throughout the years. We propose to investigate two aspects of crashes involving school-age children: school zone safety and school bus safety. This project will answer the following three major research questions: 1) What is the best countermeasure(s) to maximize drivers’ speed limit compliance rate at school zones? 2) What are the optimal roadway environment to increase traffic safety at school zones? and 3) What are the better school bus designs to improve driving behavior? All of these research questions are related to Federal initiatives. For example, one of the important goals of the MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress for the 21st Century Act) is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. Likewise, SAFETEA-LU emphasizes the issue of school-age children’s traffic safety.
The team has extensive experience in highway safety, traffic operations, and infrastructure management, including analyzing and evaluating projects related to school zone safety issues. The proposed research project enhances the team’s current work on using driving simulators to analyze driver responses to changes in infrastructure configuration, school zone speed limits, and roadway signage.