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bigjim

safety corridors and school zones

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I have really wondered about a lot of "safety corridors" I have been through.  A few are obvious but many make no sense to me at all.  What exactly does that mean and why are they designated.  I was on one on I40 yesterday that made no sense at all to me.  Mostly straight  divided highway way out in the boonies.  And why the lights on for safety in them.  Anyone ever get a ticket for not having the lights on?

 

#2 school zones that say "when children are present."  Does that mean only when you can visibly see a child or when school is in session or when children are arriving or departing.  Lord knows most of us want to do whats right but sometimes the instructions are less than clear.

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#2 is state specific. In Illinois, per an attorney general's ruling:

"This paragraph limits vehicle speed to 20 miles per hour only during school days while the vehicle is passing a school zone or is traveling on a street on or across which children pass going to or from school, and then only when children are physically present on such street or are outside the school building in a school zone. The 20 mile speed limit is not in effect when the children are inside the school building even though school is in session."

 

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Most of the safety corridors I've encountered are in New Mexico.  From personal experience, I can say that dust storms can come up so quickly that a driver is so concentrated on staying on the roadway that turning lights on doesn't even come to mind.  I would guess that's why we're required already have our lights on.

I try to avoid New Mexico in Winter, but I suppose that blowing snow can present a similar situation.  I have a friend who encountered a hail storm on IH10 between Deming and Lordsburg which gave him zero visibility and had several large trucks in the ditch.

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That is a very interesting subject. I did a search using "Highway safety corridor programs" and it leads to explanations by several different state programs and while they do seem to share most of the purposes,  they also differ in many ways. It would appear that the program has been or is being adopted by many different states with quite different rules. I also discovered a link to the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation who gives the following definition for safety corridors. 

Quote

Moving Toward Zero Fatalities

A "Safe Corridor" is an area or segment of highway identified as such due to increased accident rates, fatalities, traffic volume, and/or other highway traffic criteria. These corridors experience a crash rate of 50 percent over the state average and have sustained 1,000 or more crashes over a three-year period. All Safe Corridors are under the jurisdiction of the department of transportation of the state in which they are located.

 

 

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To my mind, turning your headlights on for safety is as effective as telling your young children to “be careful”.

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52 minutes ago, dzwiss said:

To my mind, turning your headlights on for safety is as effective as telling your young children to “be careful”.

It definitely depends on who is 'listening' . ;)

It is much easier to notice a light source than an unlit object that may or may not blend into the background . That's a proven fact . 

Exactly why motorcycles always have headlights on , modulated or no . I believe that has been since the late 70s .

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I spend a good deal of time in NM so I am familiar with the dust storms and other issues.  I think what Kirk posted is informative and has plausability.  I have encountered them in many southern states and in or near towns. Some of them make more sense than some of the ones out in the boonies.  The one I noted Fri. was in the area of the great divide and may be more susceptable to accidents in the winter than the rest of the year. That may account for that one. I am familiar with the dust storm situation in particular S. NM. There is one north of Deming heading towards Silver City that is prown to dust storms.  I am trying to  recall if there are any going north on I25 from Las Cruces to Albq. I think there are and I wonder if some of them could be just because of possible severe cross winds.

The Illinois explanation of the school zone is informative and easy to understand. It will be interesting to see if other states are essentially the same.

Edited by bigjim

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5 hours ago, dzwiss said:

To my mind, turning your headlights on for safety is as effective as telling your young children to “be careful”.

I disagree.  It's not to remind drivers to be safe.  In fog, rain, dust, snow, or any other area where visibility is limited, headlights definitely help the other driver see you and possibly avoid collision with you.  In Texas, it is required that you have your lights on when it's raining.  It's not for you to see better, but for others to see you.

Many of these safety corridors frequently have visibility challenges and having drivers use their headlights makes good sense.

Be careful.

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9 minutes ago, dzwiss said:

I am, whether I’m in a “safety corridor” or not.

I get your point.  I guess I view these warnings about the same as the yellow signs which advise me of curves ahead or rough roads or steep grades, etc.  It just brings attention to an upcoming condition which may be a challenge.

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12 hours ago, dzwiss said:

To my mind, turning your headlights on for safety is as effective as telling your young children to “be careful”.

Turning on my headlights in the daytime does not do much for me except make me more visible to other drivers. How visible is a gray car on a gray road? I like being seen.

Linda Sand

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While I'm not up on current statistics, about 20 years ago I spent time on the company safety committee. One of the things we were made aware of was data that showed that the daytime accident rate for vehicles with lights on was significantly lower than for those without. It has been far too long for me to remember any of the numbers, but it was enough to get our attention. 

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I found an article that regards a stretch of highway that we drive often. It is US-64/87 from Raton, NM to Clayton, NM. It is a "safety corridor" the entire distance. The article calls it the "Land of Entrapment" and I think I agree. 

If there were another convenient route for us I would take it. Not only is the entire length a fines doubled area but speed reductions for towns along the way areidiculous. Towns that you would blink and miss if you were going 65 have the speed reduced for a couple of miles on either side of them. That just seems to me to be an opportunity for money generation and we have certainly seen a lot of police acting on that over the years.

We always drive with our lights on and I am pretty scrupulous about not speeding but I still find that stretch annoying for some reason. 

Here is the article.

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burning your head lights is a joke, has not decreased the number of accidents much if at all.

 

the problem is not in the lights or the drivers (they can not see the lights on there own car).

but more as people just pay a never mind to them.

just like the beeper on a forklift, sure it works but most who work there do not even hear it after a while, there brain just turns it off.

 

yes i burn my lights during "darker" times. dawn, dusk, clouded weather, rain, snow, etc.

would just work better if peps would slow there roll a bit. maybe even really look at where they are driving and whats around them.

as to school zones. why do they place them on hwys? should have them ONLY on lesser streets. --the schools that is--.

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6 hours ago, packnrat said:

as to school zones. why do they place them on hwys? should have them ONLY on lesser streets. --the schools that is--.

The school is often on a lesser street. Until a city renames that street to a highway. Even if the school is on a lesser street kids often have a cross a major road to get to school because school boundaries don't always stay between the major roads. 

In our former neighborhood, Xenium Lane was a school district boundary with those on the east side going to one school and those on the west side going to a different school. Then they built a freeway just west of Xenium Lane. That did NOT change the school boundary, though.  So one side of one street was in a district that didn't seem to make sense.

Linda Sand

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yes i understand build up.

so no problem with crossings.

but when a rd is labled as a hwy?

or a major rd.

aka. to me a major rd is as built a four lane with rased devider.

not a smaller side rd.

and the school is faced on such is wrong.

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