Crossing the street at Chester Elementary and Orchard Center Elementary schools was made safer for students recently when the Spokane Valley Public Works Department installed new school zone speed limit signs. The new signs use flashing beacons to alert drivers whenever the 20mph speed zone around schools is in effect.
The signs were installed as part of an effort to increase pedestrian safety and driver awareness in school zones. In Spokane Valley, many schools are located on busy arterials where regular speed limits are 35 mph. The new signs, with their attention grabbing flashing lights, visibly warn drivers when to slow down.
A speed study conducted by Public Works showed that flashing speed limit signs installed at Progress and University Elementary Schools have reduced the fastest speed at which traffic travels by as much as 31.9%.
The beacons usually flash for 30 to 45 minutes. While specific schedules of operation vary from school to school, the lights generally operate during student arrival and departure times.
A grant through the Washington Traffic Safety Commission helped to pay for the signs.