School Parking Lot Safety Tips That All Administrators Need To Know

Every school year, teachers and administrators embark on one of the toughest jobs there is. From the first days of school to the final bell ring, the primary concern of the school staff is keeping students safe in and out of the classroom. Many schools have thick handbooks dedicated to safety procedures, emergency drills, and behavioral codes for inside the building, but few consider how imperative a safe school parking lot is. Superintendents, school board members, maintenance organizers, and principals know that school parking lot safety is an important but challenging issue.    

A problematic parking lot is a breeding ground for parent complaints and a danger to students, teachers, and staff.  A well-managed parking lot will reduce liability costs to the school district while keeping students, staff, and visitors safe.

In order to provide your community with safe bus loops, student pick-up/drop-off lines, and foot traffic, you need to utilize the correct tools that will enhance your existing traffic management plan. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and effective traffic safety items you can implement quickly to improve the conditions of your school parking lot.

Control Speed In School Parking Lots With Rubber Speed Bumps

It’s common knowledge that drivers need to slow down as they enter a school zone, but that doesn’t always happen. Whether it’s a high school driver distracted by a cell phone or a frazzled parent who slept through their alarm, unsafe behavior is always a possibility. School parking lots have limited space, so it is important that speed limits are clearly marked and devices installed to encourage slower speeds that allow for ample reaction time when a group of young children enters the parking lot or a car pulls from its parking space. Encourage slow speeds on your school’s property by installing traffic calming devices, like rubber speed bumps, at key points in your parking lot. Ranging from 4 to 6 feet in length, rubber speed bumps are designed to reduce and control the speed of vehicles in your parking lot. They come equipped with bright yellow stripes, making them easy to see. Rubber speed bumps can be easily installed with the included mounting hardware. To make speed bumps even more visible, be sure to post signs to alert drivers of their presence. This allows drivers ample time to slow down before passing over a speed bump, which prevents damage to their vehicles.

Clearly Mark Drop-Off And Pick-Up Areas With Traffic Cones

Teachers and parents would agree that the most chaotic points during any given school day are when the bell rings and students flood the parking lot. During arrival and dismissal, school parking lots fill with buses, carpooling parents, and students on foot. When administrators don’t clearly mark traffic flow, drivers may take this as a sign that there are no rules- which leads to chaos. Chaos easily takes over but can be prevented with proper traffic planning.  

Student pick-up and drop-off zones should be clearly marked with traffic cones. These are the perfect traffic delineators because they are lightweight, easy to store, and can be placed by any teacher on duty.

Orange traffic cones are made of durable PVC and built to withstand the roughest weather conditions, making them a cost-effective choice to manage parking lot traffic. Because they are so versatile, your staff can utilize parking lot cones to direct the flow of traffic, organize event parking areas, or restrict access to certain areas. Traffic cones can even be brought inside to manage indoor event foot traffic, keep students away from hazardous areas, and block off staff-only areas. Looking for even more visibility? Add clip-on cone signs and cone bars to enhance the flow of traffic and clearly mark safety hazards.

Improve Parking Lot And Bus Loop Safety With Bollards

Because bus areas and parking lots are typically permanent and unlikely to be moved, you can go with a semi-permanent delineator approach. Adding these around your school’s existing bus loop and within the parking lot will divert traffic around these areas and keep bus riders safe as they exit and enter their bus. Utilize bollards to separate the area between the bus zone and student walkways. Since bollards bolt in place, they prevent traffic from breaching student and visitor walkways. Bollards can also be used to designate parking spots and protect parked cars from moving traffic. Bollard covers allow for these sturdy delineators to be customized with different colors and text, which will help clearly label parking spots and other areas of your school’s parking lot.

Help Crossing Guards Create Safe Pathways To School

School property isn’t the only place where students face safety hazards. Millions of students walk through their community to school, which means safe routes to school matter. Portable crosswalk signs allow for crossing guards to quickly set up designated student crossing walks during school commuting times.  

In-street signs range in height from 24 to 48 inches, are bottom weighted to prevent tipping, and are built to withstand all weather types. They should be constantly monitored by a crossing guard, school official, or school law enforcement officers to ensure students are safe at all times. Crossing guards and teachers on parking lot duty also need traffic control items to keep them visible and increase parking lot safety. Provide safety vests and traffic wands to all staff members that keep the parking lot safe and traffic flowing. Remember, the more visible school staff is, the more likely parents and guardians are to follow their direction.

Find The Best Traffic Safety Items For Your School Parking Lot

Prevention is key when dealing with the safety of children. Designating student drop-off/ pick-up areas, enforcing safe speeds, utilizing temporary barriers, and directing traffic in all weathers will ensure that traffic flowers without incident or delay. Be sure to take time to evaluate the needs of your school parking lot to identify any possible safety issues and to pinpoint problematic heavy traffic areas. From there, you can make a list of the tools and equipment you need to nip this problem in the bud. If you need help choosing the right traffic safety tools for the job, please reach out to the experts at Traffic Safety Store and we will help you find the right parking lot equipment for your school today.