The School Committee and administration strive to ensure overall safety of students, employees, and community members while on school property. The School Committee encourages walking, bicycling, school bus, car pool, and other means of mass transit to access school property. In addition, the School Committee is aware of and understands that traffic conditions on school property and subsequently residential streets abutting school property affect the neighborhoods' livability.
The goal of the School Committee Traffic Safety and Mitigation Policy is to improve safety by affecting driver behavior and the quality of life for residents, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. In addition, it is to ensure that school traffic plans do not hinder quick response time for emergency service vehicles including fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, and large vehicles such as school buses and trucks used for providing essential municipal, school, and resident services.
The School Committee is responsible for traffic safety and mitigation on school property. Principals are responsible for following School Committee policy and for the safe and proper transfer of students to/from home. The principal's jurisdiction is the management and operations of school grounds and school owned/contracted vehicles. Visitors, parents, guardians, and designated caregivers are responsible for following all posted policies, regulations and guidelines for traffic safety and mitigation on and around school property.
Traffic safety and mitigation improvement can be achieved through education, enforcement, and engineered traffic calming programs. Traffic calming is defined as a combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior, and improve conditions for non-motorized street users.
The superintendent will monitor the implementation of the policy and provide support to principals and the transportation coordinator who are responsible for implementing the policy and establishing student to parent transfer procedures for the school buildings. Traffic plans, signage, and direction are part of this policy and must follow Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (“MUTCD”) standards. The School Superintendent or designee is appointed to the Transportation Safety Group.
Any changes to posted traffic plans for each school building must be reviewed by the Transportation Safety Group before being approved by the School Committee and implemented by the building Principal.
The following shall be enforceable at all limes, but with diligence during school hours, commencing 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on days Lexington Public Schools is in session, including summer school programs:
- Traffic and parking regulations promulgated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Lexington must be followed and are enforceable by the Lexington Police Department on school property. This will apply to all modes of transportation (e.g., vehicle or bicycle).
- All school traffic plans shall use the Lexington Public Schools Standard Signage and Pavement Markings Guide and shall be MUTCD compliant.
- People who violate traffic regulations or safety and mitigation policies may be subject to fines and other penalties permitted by law.
- School traffic plans, policies, and guidance will be posted on the district web site for each school location and reviewed annually by the principal and the school department's liaison to the Transportation Safety Group.
- School hours will be posted on district calendars and web sites.
- Instructions given by school designated traffic personnel must be followed. School traffic personnel are identified as any individual wearing a garment that meets the requirements of ANSI 107 (OSHA) and using hand-signaling devices, such as STOP/SLOW paddles, to control traffic through specified temporary traffic control zones.
The following actions are prohibited:
- Parking, standing, or waiting to drop off or pick up students in designated bus lanes.
- Domesticated animals on school property under town by-law § 187-96 during arrival and dismissal and unrestrained animals at any time on school property. All owners are responsible for cleaning up after their animals if they are brought on school property.
- Jaywalking. Use all painted crosswalks for crossing driveways and in parking lots. Avoid
- illegal or reckless pedestrian crossing of a roadway or driveway.
- Exiting a vehicle in a non-curbside lane (driver's side).
- U-turns on school property.
- Blocking an intersection in a neighborhood or on school property.
- Dropping off or picking up passengers in a driveway or traffic lane.
- Horn honking, except as a warning of imminent danger.
In an effort to support safe arrival and dismissal of all students and employees, the Principal may:
- Require submission of license plate numbers upon request for all vehicles driven by visitors,parents, employees, students, and family-designated drivers;
- Use license plate information to grant permission and privileges, provide notice or educational material, or assess authorized fines, penalties, to owners and operators;
- Assign parking spaces for employees; (Visitor and handicap parking will be designated on the posted plan for the school.)
- Remove illegally parked vehicles or other obstructions from traffic flow areas and invoice the owner of the vehicle or obstruction for the removal cost;
- Restrict cars from standing, parking, or idling in the pick-up zone prior to the designated
- Require use of placard or other signs to identify vehicles picking up students in designated vehicle lanes;
- Establish written transfer procedures for a child from the school house to the parent or other authorized designee;
- Restrict students from being loaded into vehicles in undesignated areas;
- Discourage the use of cell phones in the drop-off or pick-up lane/zone; (All drivers, regardless of age or license status, are banned from texting while behind the wheel.
- Remove privileges of parents to pick up their student should the owner/operator behavior be
- deemed unsafe to other motorists, employees, or students.
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) - FHWA; State Supplement:
Massachusetts Amendments to the 2009 MUTCD (January 2012) (PDF, 1.9MB)
State Traffic Control Detailed Drawings, Policies, Design Manuals: Massachusetts
DOT Highway Division Manuals
No Idling: 540 CMR: REGISTRY OF MOTOR VEHICLES (Chapter 386 of the Acts of 2008)
Town By-Laws: § Chapter 46. Engine Operation Of Stopped Vehicles
Animals on School Grounds: Town By-Laws: §187-96 Prohibited activities, Clause L.
Restraint of dogs required; licenses: Town By-Laws: §9-2.
Parking: Town By-Laws: §135-5.0, General Regulations, 5.1, Off-Street Parking and Loading.