From conducting education and enforcement campaigns to identifying unsafe conditions, law enforcement officers can play multiple roles in SRTS programs. Law enforcement officers see first hand the consequences of motor vehicle crashes. They also see first hand the behaviors that cause these consequences.
Just a 10 mph difference in speed can be critical to whether a pedestrian lives or dies when struck by a car. This is especially true for children and older pedestrians. A driver may not think going 10 mph over the speed limit will be noticeably less safe, but at 20 mph, a pedestrian has about a 5 percent chance of dying if he is hit by a car. At 30 mph, the chance of dying increases to roughly 45 percent. If a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle traveling 40 mph, the risk of dying increases to 85 percent.(1)
The main goal for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) enforcement strategies is to improve safe behaviors and deter unsafe behaviors of drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. Enforcement is one of the complementary strategies that SRTS programs use to enable more children to walk and bicycle to school safely. Enforcement includes students, parents, adult school crossing guards, school personnel and neighborhood watch programs all working in conjunction with law enforcement.
For signalized or unsignalized crossings with four or more lanes, experts recommend using two adult school crossing guards working in unison, with one guard positioned on each side of the street. Each guard stands on the crosswalk line closest to the approaching traffic for his or her half of the street and between the approaching traffic and the students.