Safety is a primary concern on all road types; especially school zones, which serve as the transportation point for students, parents, teachers, bus drivers, and area residents on a daily basis. Uniform application of traffic control devices is the first step to ensuring the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists in school zones. 

S5-1 School Zone signSchools and related agencies should develop a school traffic control plan that addresses school area traffic control needs and the coordination of school and pedestrian safety education. Factors to be considered include the volume and speed of vehicular traffic, street width, and the number and age of the students using a crossing. This plan should also include a map showing streets, the school, existing traffic controls, established school walk routes, and established school crossings.

Signs are one of the key elements of school zone traffic control. The S1-1 School Advance and S5-1 School Speed Limit warning signs are two recognizable indications that motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists are entering a school zone. However, before ordering signs for your school zone, you’ll want to consider retroreflectivity, size, and other standards.

The signs used for school area traffic control must be retroreflective.
  • Per the 2009 MUTCD, school signs are also required to have a fluorescent yellow-green background with a black legend and border unless otherwise noted in the manual.
  • Fluorescent Yellow-Green is a Diamond Grade™ reflective material, and an option for all of the school signs available on our site.

A variety of sizes are available and the MUTCD includes a table of standards based on the speed and traffic volume of the road in question.
  • A good starting point for selecting a size is the “Conventional Road” column; additional sizes are available in the “Minimum” and “Oversized” columns.
  • As a general rule, larger signs are used on roads with more traffic and higher speeds, while smaller signs are acceptable for roads with lower speeds and less traffic.
  • Larger signs are also recommended in areas where increased emphasis, improved recognition, or increased legibility are a priority.

The MUTCD provides guidance for the standards to be followed in the design, application, installation, and maintenance of all traffic control devices, including:
  • the messages and devices that are considered “unauthorized” for school zones.
  • the suggested placement, mounting height, and installation methods for school zone signs.
  • the assistance available to jurisdictions that do not have engineers on their staffs who are trained and/or experienced in traffic control devices.

If you have further signage questions while developing your own school traffic control plan, contact the experts at Hall Signs.