MACo Defends Against Traffic Signal Mandate

MACo Associate Director, Barbara Zektick, provided testimony in support with amendments of Senate Bill 865, “Vehicle Laws – School Zone Crosswalks – Traffic Control Signals,” before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on February 22, 2017.

This bill requires jurisdictions owning roads in school zones where the speed limit is at least 35 miles per hour to place traffic signals at all marked crosswalks. Further, it prohibits operation of those traffic signals from operating outside of the hours posted on signs designating the school zone.  MACo encouraged the Committee to consider amending this bill to mirror its cross file, House Bill 1199, which authorizes – rather than requires – installation of the subject traffic signals.

From MACo testimony:

Traffic engineers require flexibility in the law to determine the best treatment for any particular location, rather than “one size fits all” mandates which may actually compromise, rather than promote, traffic and pedestrian safety. Furthermore, restricting operation of traffic signals to specific times of day may only cause greater confusion and risk of accidents – particularly in school zones, where traffic may increase after regular school day hours due to after school events.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.