Local School Revamps School Zone to Help Prevent Pedestrian Accidents in West Palm

Starting on August 22, motorists will be required to slow their speed in front of Seminole Ridge High School twice a day. County workers are to install flashing lights on Seminole Pratt Whitney Road in front of the high school before the doors open for the school year. The warning lights will drop the previously 45 mph speed zone to a new 20 mph school speed limit zone, according to The Palm Beach Post.

These reduced speed limit zones are placed in front of schools and are activated as students arrive each morning and depart each afternoon to reduce the the student’s risk of becoming involved in a pedestrian accident in Boca Raton or elsewhere.

Our Boca Raton personal injury attorneys understand that many school zones require reduced speed limits as some are located in areas with a heavy and speedy traffic flow. Many motorists will fly through these areas with no concern for school starting or ending. We need to take all of the precautionary measures to help keep our young students safe this upcoming school year.

“We had a lot of issues with speeders. We’ve had some close calls,” West Boca Principal Mark Stenner said. “We are hopeful this is going to slow things down a bit.”

This new speed zone comes after residents throughout the area voiced their concerns to their elected officials. A number of schools throughout the area are now being regulated with the new flashing lights and reduced speed zones after communities joined together to rally against the unsafe roadways.

“It’s about the safety of our children,” said Burdick, a former School Board member elected to the County Commission in November.

According to Indian Trail Improvement District Board member Ralph Bair, that stretch of road has a history of near-accidents involving students and motor vehicles.

Late last year, a 17-year-old student was struck and injured by one of the school’s buses just north of the school as he was crossing Seminole Pratt and Whitney Road. After that incident, friends, family, parents, and elected officials like school board member Marcia Andrews, marched along the road with signs demanding a new speed zone.

“It’s certainly better than what we had before,” Andrews said of the new speed zone and lights. “We have to make sure we keep it safe for all our students. There is no price tag on a person’s life.”

Earlier this year, county commissioners asked engineers to study the roads around high schools in the county to see if any others were in need of speed zones, said Deputy County Engineer Tanya McConnell.

The only other high schools that have warranted speed zones for the upcoming year are West Boca Raton High School and John I. Leonard High School in Greenacres.

Seminole Ridge High School is also looking into extending the sidewalk on the east side of Seminole Pratt Whitney Road another 2 miles north to Orange Boulevard to make it safer for students. As of now, the sidewalks only extend only about a third of a mile north of the school to a nearby shopping center.

“There’s no place for kids to walk and when it is wet they walk on the road,” Bair said.