Traffic and Road Safety: Why It Should Be Prioritized

Road safety should be a priority for everyone, from children to parents. But children are particularly at risk of severe injury and death on roads.

Teaching kids about traffic and road safety from an early age is essential. But it’s important to keep them from overloading them with information.

Traffic Signals

Traffic signals regulate the flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. They are a vital element in urban design and help keep people safe.

A modern traffic signal consists of lights, supporting arms or poles, and an electric controller. Each light is a different shape to help drivers distinguish between them.

In addition to controlling traffic, signals can also prioritize vehicles, such as buses, by adjusting their timing when they approach. It can reduce the time it takes for them to arrive at the intersection.

Installing traffic control devices should be based on an engineering study of roadway, traffic and other conditions. It can be accomplished by reviewing the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for warrants that indicate the minimum requirements to justify a new signal.

When used effectively, traffic safety products also assist in regulating traffic flow and preventing backups and slowdowns. When one traffic lane flows in either direction, they can alert cars to move to the outer lane.

Speed Limits

A speed limit is a legally authorized maximum vehicle speed for a particular road section. Generally, these limits are set by state law or may be established after traffic engineering practices have completed an engineering study.

The goal of speed limit laws is to encourage drivers to drive safely by establishing realistic, safe speed limits for roads. A posted speed limit alone is not enough; a strategy involving geometric changes that discourage drivers from exceeding the limit, education, and enforcement is necessary for adequate driving safety (NHTSA, FHWA, & FMCSA, 2014).

Studies have shown that travel speeds on many road segments substantially exceed the speed limit. This situation is a serious concern that requires careful setting and enforcement of reasonable, rational speed limits on homogeneous road segments.


Intersections are where two or more roadways meet. They are high-risk locations for collisions due to possible conflict between vehicles on the roads and pedestrians crossing them.

Intersection design can significantly influence the number of points of conflict. From 32 at a standard, two-lane by two-lane cross intersection to eight at a modern roundabout, an intersection’s traffic flow patterns and design can create or exacerbate potential hazards.

At controlled intersections, drivers are required to obey traffic signs and signals that regulate traffic flow. In addition to these rules, drivers must check the traffic situation carefully before proceeding and giving way to pedestrians and other road users within their path.

Pedestrian Crossings

Pedestrian crossings are designed to provide a safe place for pedestrians to cross roads. They are essential in maintaining order on the road and preventing accidents between cars and pedestrians.

There are many types of pedestrian crossings in the UK, so you must understand how each works. Pedestrian crossings can vary from simple traffic lights-controlled crossings to more innovative crossings called Pelican crossings and Puffin crossings with intelligent sensors that tell them when it is safe to release the traffic and let pedestrians cross.

Despite their differences, all pedestrian crossings are designed to help increase pedestrian safety and improve the flow of vehicular traffic. When crossing, you must follow the rules of the road, obeys traffic signs and signals, and look both ways before proceeding across the street.

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