Children at Play Signs
Did you know that it is unsafe to install Children at Play signs in neighborhoods?
The city receives numerous requests from residents for Children at Play signs. It is the city's policy not to install these signs for the following reasons:
The Children at Play sign is unnecessary and unclear. It suggests to the driver, if no such sign is present on another street, children are not playing there, and it is okay to speed or to be less careful. Another driver might interpret the sign to mean that children are playing in the road. "Always? What time of day?"
It gives parents and children a false sense of security. By relying on the sign, parents might monitor their children less closely and children might interpret the sign to mean it is acceptable to play in the street.
One Children at Play sign leads to a proliferation of signs throughout the town. Since nearly every block has children living on it, there would have to be signs on each one. The effect of too many signs is that they become ineffective. The proliferation of signs breeds disrespect, not only for the specific signs, but for all signs.
To erect Children at Play signs in response to one request usually generates similar requests, thereby basing sign placement on political rather than on sound engineering judgment.
Because the signs are confusing and do not meet specific criteria for good signing, placing Children at Play signs opens the municipality to tort liability.
Since all signs need to be maintained to be effective, the proliferation of unnecessary sign places an undue burden on maintenance crews. Purchasing, erecting, and keeping these signs in good order is expensive.
For these reasons the city does not use Children at Play signs. The city will continue signing areas that give a clear message to drivers, such as school zones or pedestrian crossings.