December 10


Minimizing Vehicle and Student Interaction – a Look at Loading Zones

By Mike Spack

December 10, 2007

loading zones, school safety, school traffic safety, schools, student interaction, traffic safety plan, vehicle

By Mike Spack, PE, PTOE

Minimizing the amount of time students mix with vehicles is the low hanging fruit of a school traffic safety plan. These measures typically don’t cost anything, but they’re usually pretty specific to each school.  The goal is to control where students come in and out of the school so they don’t mix with a lot of vehicles. An example would be having parents drop off their kids at a school entrance instead of letting them out on the street.

Ideally, the school campus will have a the bus loading zone separated from the parent pick-up/drop-off lane.  A standard protocol we recommend in all student loading zones is:

  1. No vehicles are allowed to move in the loading area while students are being loaded
  2. An adult is in charge who signals the vehicles or buses when all of the students are loaded
  3. The vehicles leave in a single file line, and
  4. The next platoon of vehicles or buses are loaded

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 Schools Zones
  5. Slowing Down Traffic in School Zones
  6. Controlling Arrivals and Departures
  7. Traffic Safety Education for Students

Photo Source:


  • At the school I volunteer with, the students are picked up at the front of the class to prevent the children from crossing the busy streets on their own. They also avoid the chance of accidents. The school is doing a great job implementing different safety projects for it’s children.

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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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