Promoting a False Sense of Security
Some neighborhood traffic control signs, designed with the intent to provide security and safety for the families who live there, can often have the exact opposite results. The Children at Play sign is perhaps the best example.
The Children at Play sign may encourage children to play in the street. They may have the wrong impression that somehow with the sign it is safer to do so. The signs may also encourage parents to believe that there is some added protection in the neighborhood.
This is simply not the case. Our children must be taught that the street is not a place to play. It is intended for cars and bicycles. Further, children must be taught that not all drivers are watching out for children.
When Are Warning Signs Used
Warning signs are most effective when used sparingly and are intended to advise motorists of an unusual or unexpected condition ahead. These signs have little value as they become overused.
National studies have shown that many signs which warn of normal conditions in residential areas fail to improve safety. Since children live on just about every section of roadway in Hall County, there would have to be an enormous number of signs installed. Roadways without signs might imply that no children live there, so it is okay to speed.
Not An Official Sign
Hall County must comply with state and federal laws when it comes to traffic control devices. The Children at Play sign is not a recognized sign by the national Uniform Traffic Control Device manual. The primary reason that the sign is not approved for use is that research has proven that the sign does not reduce pedestrian accidents or lower vehicle speeds.