New bus stop signs have higher reflectivity

September 4, 2015

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – School has started, and Garfield County is in the process of updating school bus stop warning signs in school districts throughout the county. The goal for the new high-visibility signs is to increase bus stop safety and awareness.

The highly reflective lime-green school bus stop signs are placed near bus stops, warning motorists that a school bus and children may be nearby. The design has been updated from previous warning signs and now does not include text, just a descriptive picture showing children entering a bus using vibrant colors depicting a stopped bus with red warning lights. These new signs should offer standardization and recognition for drivers at a glance.

Beginning as a long-term federal mandate to improve sign visibility, the federal government began requiring High Intensity Prism (HIP) signs be implemented for all school bus stops. The new school bus stop signs that have been installed in Garfield County exceed the HIP requirement, displaying a diamond grade reflectivity one step higher than the federal mandate requires. The higher grade offers better visibility, longevity, and improved maintenance. The federal mandate requires the new signs be inspected every two years to assure standards are maintained.

More than 50 school bus stop signs have been updated and replaced. “We’ve replaced a lot of signs from Utah to Yampah,” said Garfield County Road and Bridge sign coordinator, Steve Morris.

“As signs fade, the reflectivity can change,” added Garfield County Road and Bridge Director, Deb Fiscus. “During the day it’s hard to see the reflectivity difference, but at dusk or at night it’s more noticeable. With fall and winter coming, visibility diminishes at times, and the reflectivity is important for safety.”

Roaring Fork School District Transportation Supervisor Kelly Wamboldt says that this is a positive change, “Since it’s different, there’s a better chance that people will notice them more. Hopefully it will make everybody more aware, and increase the safety for our school children locally.”

Garfield County has also replaced approximately 4,000 other county road signs over the past three years in an effort to improve safety, visibility, and to adhere to federal requirements.