903.19 Signing for School Areas

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Contents

903.19.1 Size of School Signs (MUTCD Section 7B.01)

Standard. The sizes of signs and plaques to be used on conventional roadways in school areas shall be as shown in Table 903.19.1.

Option. Signs and plaques larger than those shown in Table 903.19.1 may be used at other locations that require increased emphasis, improved recognition, or increased legibility.


Table 903.19.1 School Area Sign and Plaque Sizes

Sign or PlaqueSign Designation EPG Article Conventional Road (in. x in.)Freeway/Expressway (in. x in.)
Single LaneMulti-Lane Oversized Mainline and Ramps
School S1-1903.19.8 36 X 36 36 X 36 - -
School (plaque) S4-3P903.19.9 36 X 12 36 X 12 - -
School Bus Stop Ahead S3-1903.19.13 36 X 36 36 X 36 - -
When Flashing (plaque) S4-4P903.19.14 36 X 18 36 X 18 - -
End School Speed Limit S5-3903.19.14 24 X 30 24 X 30 - -
Diagonal Downward Arrow (plaque) W16-7P903.19.12 30 X 18 30 X 18 - -
Ahead W16-9P903.19.11 30 X 18 30 X 18 - -

903.19.2 Illumination and Reflectorization (MUTCD Section 7B.02)

Standard. The signs used for school area traffic control shall be retroreflectorized only.

903.19.3 Position of Signs (MUTCD Section 7B.03)

Support. EPG 903.2.26 and EPG 903.4.1 contain provisions regarding the placements and locations of signs.

EPG 903.3.2 contains provisions regarding the lateral offsets of signs.

Option. In-roadway signs for school traffic control areas may be used consistent with the requirements of EPG 903.19.8 and EPG 903.19.12.

903.19.4 Height of Signs (MUTCD Section 7B.04)

Support. EPG 903.3.3 contains provisions regarding the mounting height of signs.

903.19.5 Installation of Signs (MUTCD Section 7B.05)

Support. EPG 903.2.26 contains provisions regarding the installation of signs.

903.19.5.1 School Assembly Installation Contracts

Standard. Before a School Crossing and/or Advanced School Crossing sign(s) are installed a TR11 School Crossing contract shall be executed. All requests shall be reviewed in the district. A competent adult crossing guard acting for the school district shall supervise the operation of the crosswalk and the crossing of the students during hours of operation.

Before a School Flasher is is installed above a School Warning sign or School Zone sign, a TR08 Roadside Flashers for School Operations contract shall be executed.

Before a School Speed Limit is installed, a TR08 Roadside Flashers for School Operations contract shall be executed. All School Speed Limit assemblies shall use a flasher to indicate when the school speed limit is active.

903.19.6 Lettering (MUTCD Section 7B.06)

Support. EPG 900.1.11 Relation to Other Publications contains information regarding sign lettering.

903.19.7 Sign Color for School Warning Signs (MUTCD Section 7B.07)

Standard. School warning signs, including the “SCHOOL” portion of the School Speed Limit (S5-1) sign and including any supplemental plaques used in association with these warning signs, shall have a fluorescent yellow-green background with a black legend and border unless otherwise specified.

903.19.8 School Sign (S1-1) and Plaques (S4-3p, W16-9P and W16-7P) (MUTCD Section 7B.08)

S1-1
S1-1
S4-3P
S4-3P
W16-9P
W16-9P
W16-7P
W16-7P
W16-6P
W16-6P

Support. Many local jurisdictions find it beneficial to advise road users that they are approaching a school that is adjacent to a highway, where additional care is needed, even though no school crossing is involved and the speed limit remains unchanged. Additionally, some jurisdictions designate school zones that have a unique legal standing where special enforcement techniques such as photo radar systems are used (refer to EPG 950 Automated Traffic Enforcement. It is important and sometimes legally necessary to mark the beginning and end points of these designated school zones so that the road user is given proper notice.

The School (S1-1) sign has the following four applications:

    Painting Hashes (above)   Placing a New Sign (right)
Painting Hashes (above)
Placing a New Sign (right)
Finishing Touches for a New School's Turn Lane in Lincoln County
Putting Down a Turn Arrow
Putting Down a Turn Arrow

A. School Area – the S1-1 sign can be used to warn road users that they are approaching a school area that might include school buildings or grounds, a school crossing, or school related activity adjacent to the highway.

B. School Zone – the S1-1 sign can be used to identify the location of the beginning of a designated school zone.

C. School Advance Crossing – if combined with an AHEAD (W16-9P) plaque to comprise the School Advance Crossing assembly, the S1-1 sign can be used to warn road users that they are approaching a crossing where schoolchildren cross the roadway.

D. School Crossing – if combined with a diagonal downward pointing arrow (W16-7P) plaque to comprise the School Crossing assembly, the S1-1 sign can be used to warn approaching road users of the location of a crossing where schoolchildren cross the roadway.

Option. If added emphasis is determined to be required for School Area assembly, an amber flasher may be used to suppliment the assembly. See EPG 903.19.5.1 School Assembly Installation Contracts for contract requirements.

S1-1 S4-3P W16-6P
S1-1
S4-3P
W16-6P

If a school area, school zone, or school crosswalk is located on a cross street in close proximity to the intersection, a School (S1-1) sign with a supplemental arrow (W16-6P) plaque may be installed on each approach of the street or highway to warn road users making a turn onto the cross street that they will encounter a school area soon after making the turn.


903.19.9 School Zone Sign (S1-1) and Plaques (S4-3P) and END SCHOOL ZONE Sign (S5-2) (MUTCD Section 7B.09)

S1-1  S4-3P
S1-1
S4-3P
S5-2
S5-2

Standard. If a school zone has been designated under Missouri or local statute, a School (S1-1) sign shall be installed to identify the beginning point(s) of the designated school zone, See Fig. 903.19.9.

Fig. 903.19.9, Example of Signing for a School Crossing
Fig. 903.19.9, Example of Signing for a School Crossing

Option. A School Zone (S1-1) sign may be supplemented with a SCHOOL (S4-3P) plaque.

If added emphasis is determined to be required for School Zone assembly, an amber flasher may be used to suppliment the assembly. See EPG 903.19.5.1 School Assembly Installation Contracts for contract requirements.

The downstream end of a designated school zone may be identified with an END SCHOOL ZONE (S5-2) sign.

903.19.10 Higher Fines Zone Signs (R2-10, R2-11) and Plaques (MUTCD Section 7B.10)

Standard. Not used by MoDOT. Fines in school zones cannot be raised above statutory limits by MoDOT or local jurisdictions so these signs and plaques cannot be used in this state.

903.19.11 School Advance Crossing Assembly (MUTCD Section 7B.11)

S1-1  W16-9P
S1-1
W16-9P

Standard. The School Advance Crossing assembly shall consist of a School (S1-1) sign supplemented with an AHEAD (W16-9P) plaque.

Except as provided in the option below, a School Advance Crossing assembly shall be used in advance (see Table 903.6.6 for advance placement guidelines) of the first School Crossing assembly that is encountered in each direction as traffic approaches a school crosswalk, see Fig. 903.19.11.

A School Crossing contract shall be required prior to the installation of these signs. See EPG 903.19.5.1 School Assembly Installation Contracts for contract requirements.

Fig. 903.19.11, Example of Signing for a School Crossing Outside of a School Zone
Fig. 903.19.11, Example of Signing for a School Crossing Outside of a School Zone

Option. The School Advance Crossing assembly may be omitted (see Fig. 903.19.14.1) where a School Zone (S1-1) sign is installed to identify the beginning of a school zone in advance of the School Crossing assembly if the distance is reasonable close or determined by engineering judgment.

903.19.12 School Crossing Assembly (MUTCD Section 7B.12)

S1-1  W16-7P
S1-1
W16-7P

Standard. If used, the School Crossing assembly shall be installed at the school crossing, or as close to it as possible, and shall consist of a School (S1-1) sign supplemented with a diagonal downward pointing arrow (W16-7P) plaque to show the location of the crossing.

The School Crossing assembly shall not be used at crossings other than those adjacent to schools and those on established school pedestrian routes.

The School Crossing assembly shall not be installed on approaches controlled by a STOP or YIELD sign.

A School Crossing contract shall be required prior to the installation of these signs. See EPG 903.19.5.1 School Assembly Installation Contracts for contract requirements.

903.19.13 School Bus Stop Ahead Sign (S3-1) (MUTCD Section 7B.13)

S3-1

Guidance. The School Bus Stop Ahead (S3-1) sign should be installed in advance of locations where a school bus stops to pick up or discharge passengers and the sight distance of the bus available to other drivers is greater than the minimum sight distance and less than the maximum sight distance shown in Table 903.19.13. All attempts should be made to relocate the school bus stop to improve available sight distance and eliminate the need for the School Bus Stop Ahead (S3-1) sign.

Table 903.19.13 Sight Distance Requirements for use of the S3-1 sign

Posted Speed (mph)Minimum Sight Distance (ft.)Maximum Sight Distance (ft.)
30 300 500
35 300 500
40 300 500
45 300 500
50 300 510
55 300 560
60 300 625
65 500 700
70 500740

Support. Section 304.050, RSMo, paragraph 4, defines, by state statute the minimum allowable sight distance a school bus stop must have. The statute states “…nor shall any passengers be taken on or discharged while the vehicle is upon the road or highway proper unless the vehicle so stopped is plainly visible for at least five hundred feet in each direction to drivers of other vehicles in the case of a highway with no shoulder and a speed limit greater than 60 miles per hour and at least three hundred feet in each direction to drivers of other vehicles upon other highways”. While shoulder is not defined in state statutes, for this purpose it will mean a shoulder of sufficient width and strength for a school bus to be able to safely and completely leave the traveled portion of the roadway. At those locations not meeting the requirements above, a school bus stop is not allowed.

It is not intended that these signs be used everywhere a school bus stops to pick up or discharge passengers, but for use where terrain and roadway features limit the approach sight distance and where there is no opportunity to relocate the stop to another location with adequate sight distance.

Standard. The requirements to use the School Bus Stop Ahead signs are:

A. For this policy, the school bus stop shall be defined as the location where passengers wait to be picked up or are discharged.

B. The sight distance shall be determined using a 3.5 ft. eye height and an 8 ft. object height.

C. Each approach to the school bus stop shall be considered independently of each other, i.e. it may not be necessary to sign both approaches to the school bus stop.

D. Placement will be as per Table 903.6.6 Guidelines for Advance Placement of Warning Signs.

The location of school bus stops may change from year to year. It is therefore, imperative the district keep track of all School Bus Stop Ahead signs. The school districts shall provide confirmation to the district office when the school bus stops are active. This shall be done prior to the fall session. Also, whenever the school districts are aware of a school bus stop location change, they shall advise the district office as soon as possible.

Option. If a location has more than the minimum sight distance required by statute, as described above, but less than the values in Table 903.19.13, placement of the SCHOOL BUS STOP AHEAD sign may be allowed.

903.19.14 School Speed Limit Flasher Assembly (S4-3P, R2-1, S4-4P) and END SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT Sign (S5-3) (MUTCD Section 7B.15)

S4-3P  R2-1  S4-4P
S4-3P
R2-1
S4-4P
S5-3
S5-3

Standard. A School Speed Limit Flasher assembly shall be used to indicate the speed limit where a reduced speed zone for a school area has been established (in accordance with law based upon an engineering study) or where a speed limit is specified for such areas by statute. The School Speed Limit Flasher assembly shall be placed at or as near as practical to the point where the reduced speed zone begins.

If a reduced school speed limit zone has been established, a School (S1-1) sign shall be installed in advance (see Table 903.6.6 For advance placement guidelines) of the first School Speed Limit Flasher sign assembly that is encountered in each direction as traffic approaches the reduced school speed limit zone. See Fig. 903.19.14.1.

The downstream end of an authorized and posted reduced school speed limit zone shall be identified with an END SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT (S5-3) sign. See Fig. 903.19.14.2.

Before a School Speed Limit is installed a TR08 Roadside Flashers for School Operations contract shall be executed. See EPG 903.19.5.1 School Assembly Installation Contracts for contract requirements.

Fig. 903.19.14.1, Example of Signing for a School Zone with a School Speed Limit and a School Crossing
Fig. 903.19.14.1, Example of Signing for a School Zone with a School Speed Limit and a School Crossing
Fig. 903.19.14.2, Example of Signing for a School Speed Limit
Fig. 903.19.14.2, Example of Signing for a School Speed Limit

Guidance. The reduced speed zone should begin either at a point 200 ft. from the crosswalk, or at a point 100 ft. from the school property line, based on whichever is encountered first as traffic approaches the school.

If a school speed limit flasher is installed, no other school flasher should be permitted.

Standard. The fixed-message School Speed Limit assembly shall consist of a top plaque (S4-3P) with the legend SCHOOL, a Speed Limit (R2-1) sign, and a bottom plaque (S4-4P) with the legend WHEN FLASHING.

School speed limits are in effect only when the flasher is operational.

903.19.14.1 School Speed Limits

Standard. Upon receipt of a school speed limit request, the district shall perform a speed study and site investigation. The school speed limit shall be 10 mph below either the posted speed limit or the 85th percentile speed, whichever is higher, as determined by the speed study. In no case shall a school speed limit of less than 25 mph be allowed.

Support. See EPG 902.4 Signal Installations and Equipment for more information.

903.19.15 Parking and Stopping Signs (R7 and R8 Series) (MUTCD Section 7B.17)

Option. Parking and stopping regulatory signs may be used to prevent parked or waiting vehicles from blocking pedestrians’ views, and drivers’ views of pedestrians and to control vehicles as a part of the school traffic plan.

Support. Parking signs and other signs governing the stopping and standing of vehicles in school area cover a wide variety of regulations.

EPG 903.5.26 contains information regarding the signing of parking regulations in school zone areas.



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