Driver Speed Limit Compliance in School Zones: Assessing the Impact of Sign Saturation

  • Published: Mississippi State University, 2013
  • Authors: Strawderman, L., Zhang, L.
  • Date Added: 05 May 2017
  • Last Update: 05 May 2017
  • Format: pdf


To evaluate the impact of school zone sign density on reducing driver speed and increasing driver compliance in school zones.


Four school zones were selected for data collection. Each school zone requires a 10mph speed reduction (45mph to 35mph) and contains a static school zone speed limit sign with no flashers. The school zones represent high and low saturation areas. They also include both two-lane and four-lane roadways. Data were collected for one week (7 days) at each of the four selected sites. Data were collected using QTT NC-200™ Portable Traffic Analyzers™.

Key Findings:

The initial findings can be used to inform sign placement as follows:

  • There is no evidence of a negative impact of sign saturation. Place school zone signs as needed.
  • Road type (number of lanes) has an impact on driver compliance in a school zone. A school zone located on a 4-lane road is more effective than a school zone located on a 2-lane road.
  • There is evidence to suggest that drivers are more compliant to school zone signage in an urban setting. Place school zone signs in urban settings as needed.


School zone sign density, Driver compliance in school zones, School zone speed limit sign.