January 7


Controlling Arrivals and Departures at Schools

By Mike Spack

January 7, 2008

Safety, school, school safety

By Mike Spack, PE, PTOE

The most dangerous situation is to have students, cars, and buses all mixing in the same physical space. This typically happens during students’ school arrivals and departures. If possible, buses, vehicles, and pedestrians should be segregated.

The next best thing is to control the campus so only two of the three modes can mix at a time. Developing a controlled procedure for student pick-ups and drop-offs is a key element of the overall traffic safety plan. Every effort should be made to avoid having kids entering a public street to enter or exit a school bus or a parent’s car.

Loading of students should happen in the low speed parking lot if at all possible. If the buses or vehicles need to park on a public street, they should park so they are loaded from the school grounds. The students should not walk across the street to get to the school bus door or passenger car door.

Segregating the modes can also be accomplished by staggering the drop-off/pick-up times of the different modes.

Here are Links to Each of the 7 Components of an Effective School Safety Plan

  1. Documenting Existing transportation Systems at Schools
  2. Minimizing Vehicle and Student Interaction – A Look at Loading Zones
  3. Minimizing the Impacts of School Traffic
  4. Increasing Student Visibility in School Traffic Zones
  5. Slowing Down Traffic in School Zones
  6. Controlling Arrivals and Departures
  7. Traffic Safety Education for Students


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    Mike Spack

    My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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