Western Australian School Crossing Safety Initiatives
Western Australia is continuously attempting to improve the already excellent safety record of incidents at warden controlled school crossings. Recent initiatives have included the use of flashing amber lights at crossings in various locations and newly developed flags for the traffic wardens. A literature review concerning colour, contrast and brightness of the new flags was conducted.
This project was supplemented with a recognition study of the conspicuity of the flags in the field. It was found that both traffic wardens and motorists agreed that due to the colours and contrasts of the new flags, motorists were able to see them from further away and were able to be better prepared to stop at the crossing. It is recommended that the flags be tested for luminosity and contrast and be presented to Standards Australia for inclusion into the standards. Another study was conducted to assess the safety of using flashing amber lights at school crossings. The study assessed differences in location of the lights and when they were activated, against motorist behaviour as seen on video. The evidence suggested that the safest behaviour was evident when the lights were installed at the crossing site itself and activated by the warden for each individual crossing.
This paper is a brief review of the three projects and includes recommendations from the three studies.