When it comes to the safety of its students, nothing is higher on a school's list of priorities. Speeding cars are a serious concern. At Superior Hills Elementary School in Marquette, officials say the speed of traffic on McClellan Avenue threatens the safety of its students.The speed limit had long been 35 miles per hour until two years ago when the Michigan Department of Transportation increased it to 45. It became increasingly difficult for school buses to pull out onto McClellan."It was very difficult for buses to get on the property and off the property, getting the bus with... you know, 77 passenger bus on to a highway with traffic moving quickly is a very difficult thing. It's a safety thing for our kids," says Principal Mike Woodard.To increase the safety of school buses, as well as parents picking up their children, the school has now installed automated signs on each side of the road a few hundred yards from the school driveway. From 8:45 to 9:25 a.m. and 3:30 to 4:10 p.m., the signs flash, alerting the drivers that this is a school zone and the limit is now 35. With a lower speed, drivers have more time to slow down when they see the buses leaving the school.
"When you get a large school bus full of children, it's a slow-moving vehicle, and with the slight incline out there and the curve that the school sits on, you can't see a vehicle leaving the property until the last minute," says Youth Services Officer Craig Marker of the Marquette Police Department.The sign is now in use, but the new limit will not be enforced immediately. The public will be given a chance to learn and get used to the new limit. When Marquette police decide that the limit has been in effect long enough, tickets will be issued to those who violate the school zone speed limit.