School Safety

Traffic Control Manual for School Crossing Protection
Pedestrian safety depends in large measure upon motorist understanding and accepting traffic control measures selected and applied in a uniform and appropriate manner. This principle is never more important than in the control of vehicles and pedestrians in the vicinity of schools. Neither school children nor motorists can be expected to move safely in school zones unless they understand both the need for traffic controls and the ways in which these controls function for their benefit.

The lack of uniformity in the methods for traffic control within a community and from one community to another is considered one of the greatest obstacles to the development of successful school crossing safety programs. It is for this reason that the Springfield School Crossing Protection Committee has developed a manual (PDF) that provides policies and practices proven effective in the solution of community school pedestrian problems. The safety of school children should be the ultimate goal of everyone involved in the establishment and maintenance of school crossings.

School Walking Route Maps
School walking route maps depict streets, schools, traffic signals, marked crosswalks, sidewalks, crossing guards. By using arrow markings, the maps indicate the suggested walking route for each student from their home to their school, utilizing approved school crossing locations. The maps are updated annually for each elementary school in the Springfield R-12 School District, with the following objectives and considerations:
  • Routes combine as students approach the school to group the students as soon as possible for greater safety and to consolidate the number of street crossings to reduce total vehicle-pedestrian exposures.
  • Routes should make the maximum use of existing traffic control (signals and stop signs).
  • Adequate sight distance between the motorists and the pedestrian must be available at all crossings.
School Crossing Protection Committee
The Committee on School Crossing Protection consists of:
  • Director of School Public Safety for the Springfield Public Schools
  • District Traffic Engineer of the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department
  • Greene County Highway Department
  • Greene County Sherriff's Department
  • Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Representatives
  • Springfield City Traffic Engineer
  • Springfield Police Department
    This committee is responsible for reviewing school crossing protection requests, recommending action to address school traffic safety problems, establishing priorities on projects, and developing policies and procedures to insure a uniform school crossing protection program throughout the entire city.
    Signalized School Crosswalks
    Signalized school crosswalks are equipped with "kid friendly" pedestrian push buttons and education signage. The push buttons are activated by the touch of a finger and the button responds with a single "chirp" sound along with display of a continuous red led light. Two separate education plaques are used at school crosswalks.

    If a button is not present, then students need to "Wait for the Walk Light" (PDF) before crossing that is shown in the first sign. In this case, the walk light will be displayed automatically and the time needed to cross the street is programmed into the normal signal operation. If a button is present, then students need to "Push the Button for Maximum Time" (PDF) which is necessary to change the signal to "Walk" and obtain the maximum walk time to cross. Without pushing the button, a "Walk" light will not be displayed.
    Remember, before entering the street, look both ways and be watch for turning vehicles. Also, never leave the curb after the hand starts flashing and the countdown timer has begun. The countdown timer informs a pedestrian that has already entered the crosswalk of the amount of time remaining to complete their crossing of the street. For more information about pedestrian crossing see the pedestrian safety flyer (PDF).