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Lars Eriksson
Lennart Strand
Thomas Porathe

In connection with boarding and alighting bus passengers are exposed to risks caused by other traffic. Children are especially vulnerable when traveling to and from school, and there are strong reasons for urging the vehicles passing a stationary school transport to reduce their speed significantly. Based on the experience of a previous project it was decided to propose the imposition of a limit of 30 km/h when there is a stationary school transport throughout the country on roads with speed limits of 70 km/h and less. In connection with a change of the traffic regulations it is important to create a school bus sign that is respected by all road users. The purpose of this study is to develop and test a school bus sign that has a high degree of conspicuity, and can be detected and read from an adequate distance. Most important, it has to be understood and respected. The study results will provide a basis for a set of requirements on a sign that should make drivers reduce their speed to 30 km/h when passing a stationary school bus. The study includes both workshops and focus groups with various stakeholders, one indoor and one outdoor lab experiment, and a field test. The results from the sub-studies lead to a recommendation to use a VMS-type sign that includes motion, which is more conspicuous than signs with a static symbol. It is expected that the final version of a digital sign will have a similar or better conspicuity and legibility than the traditional bus sign, which should increase compliance. Furthermore, it is likely that compliance with the new speed regulation will be improved when drivers not only are informed about the potential hazard source - children - but when they, too, are informed about the appropriate action - a speed reduction to 30 km/h.

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