Honk: Are those 'Children at Play' si...

Honk: Are those 'Children at Play' signs legal?

There are 126 comments on the Orange Co. Register story from Feb 11, 2011, titled Honk: Are those 'Children at Play' signs legal?. In it, Orange Co. Register reports that:

Q. Is it legal for someone to put those "Slow Children at Play" signs in the middle of the street?i 1 2 A family in our neighborhood puts them in the street, and not only is there barely enough room to get around them, at night you don't see them until you're right on top of them.i 1 2 It seems that some folks think the street is a playground, and ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Orange Co. Register.


United States

#47 Apr 15, 2013
I agree that streets should not be treated as playgrounds. But the way some people are talking, they think kids should not be allowed to play in their own yard. I live in a quiet residential street and have two kids under 10. We also have a basketball hoop in the front driveway. We don't have a front gate.

Of course, while kids are playing, the ball sometimes goes in the street. And while we have told our kids plenty of times not to run into the street, they are still impulsive kids. Not to mention their friends, who also may run in the street after a ball?

So are people suggesting that I now allow my kids to play in their yard either?

And as for riding their bikes on the sidewalk, hello! I actually think that riding on the sidewalk can be even more dangerous than riding on the street as cars could and do back out quickly from their driveway. In those situations, there is generally much less time to react.

My solution is to place orange cones in the street on either end giving cars some pause as the drive by. When riding their bikes, I actually prefer they ride in the street. I am always out there with them making sure I have a food visual of both sides of the street in case cars are coming.

For record, I live on a small dead end street with very light traffic.
Robby D

Maple Grove, MN

#48 May 1, 2013
The fact that any of you losers would take the time to post against street signs designed to protect children tells me
A) you don't have children
B) you shouldn't have children
C) you would be in danger if you drove down my street
D) all of the above

Answer: D

United States

#49 May 4, 2013
CHP wrote:
Private citizens are prohibited from placing signs, banners, barriers or other devices in the public right-of-way on any government funded and controlled street without specific government approval from the agency that maintains that roadway.
<quoted text>
That's not what the vehicle code says.
Great answer.

I have a neighbor who is placing not just 1 large sign but 2 in front of their house(PLEASE NOTE: ITS A CULDESAC) They are really doing it to have exclusive use of the parking spots in front of their home or because they do not like anyone to park there at all(they've told me personally). I'm having a lot of trouble with them leaving their trashcans in the street all week for the same reason. Today I came home to finally see the trash cans removed but these in their place. Not one car home, not one children at play. I generally park there because they have hit my car several times when parked in front of my own house I have parked there ever since at their suggestion but now they are trying to get me park half a block down the street. I moved these cones up on the grass today and parked in my usual spot. No one was home for hours and there were no children at play. I want to make sure I'm not violating any laws by doing this. From what I've read here their not exactly legal and I would imagine shouldn't be left out all day.

San Diego, CA

#50 May 8, 2013
Well when YOU come speeding around my corner and slam into a parked car on the side of the road and fly up the curb onto my grass where my children are playing, then I think I DO have the right to put a sign out reminding you that children are playing and the speed limit is 25 in a residential zone. So slow the fuck down!

Since: May 13

Candler, NC

#51 May 13, 2013
So trolling along I see this thread near and dear to me.

BLUF: Can anyone cite the legality of these signs? Can anyone cite the illegality of children playing in residential, non-through streets?(To be specific, Isle of Wight County, Virginia)

Ironically the HOA, like most, indirectly and unknowingly encourages street play by constantly giving "tickets" when weeds aren't addressed constantly and immediately. This results in typical over-zealous suburban use of weed killers and fertilizers. Safe for children? To add insult to injury, the empty lots in the neighborhood where houses haven't been built yet are several feet high and rife with ticks, snakes and vermin. Of course no HOA enforcement to prevent scaring off developers. Yes, the HOA is supposed to be a republic style organization, but who is ignorant enough to believe it's that easy?(Especially when one complainant siding with the HOA management firm trumps scores of dissenters disagreeing with HOA)

So back to the child safety, this is an idyllic neighborhood with lots of kids but no playgrounds. The HOA blocks any motions to ask the DOT for speed humps and other traffic control measures even though there is state funding AND legal code to allow it. A tenant in the rent controlled sub-division apartments on the fringe of the uber-upscale neighborhood with winding streets in question filed a complaint about the "safety-men", as my son calls them. From about 5-630pm most evenings the signs would straddle the center of the vary wide two lane street full of walkers and skaters AND unfortunately speeding cut-through traffic almost always on cell phones. Any time a car is sighted at either non-blind corner coming onto the street (about 150 yds away) the parents of the three year olds, who are constantly with the kids, have them pull their training-wheeled bikes to the curb and get in the grass until the car passes. This is sometimes repeated five times in a minute. Each time the kids do as they are told under watchful eyes. Literally dozens of residents have stopped while passing very slowly saying they love the signs because of the cut-through traffic.

The complainant in question cuts through the residential section like most of the renters do because the main highway gets a little choked during rush hour. The apartment complex has its own highway entrance and cut-throughs have to take several turns to go down through the neighborhood a quarter mile off the highway.

So this complainant makes waves and the pro-developer/anti-resident HOA takes up the argument and says it's against the law to use these signs or for kids to play in the streets, neither of which they cite any code.

I've ranted incoherently enough. If you get the picture, let's see the votes.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#52 May 19, 2013
I cannot understand anyone who thinks it is ok for children to play in the streets. This is unsafe and irresponsible, For once really think about children's safety.

Grande Prairie, Canada

#53 Jun 2, 2013
WTF wrote:
I do NOT give a shit if it is illegal, annoying or what other justification you can throw out to not care for the safety of children. If my child impulsively or not runs out to grab a ball from the street and those sign slows drivers down so she doesn't get hit, well I did my job. Let me make this perfectly clear Rebecca, when it comes down to your righteousness or my child's welfare, you lose. That battle to protect my child will go with me to my grave!! One day when you are a parent you will get it.
<quoted text>
Well said, no one understands that no matter how many times a person knocks down those signs they will be put back up! Plain and simple

Jacksonville, FL

#54 Jul 11, 2013
ha. Well guess what, I started putting my garbage can in front of our street after our neighbor continually sped through like a bat out of hell even though I continually told him to slow down my sweet kids are out here. That way he had no choice but to stop and wait for me to move it or go up on the curb. NO one is driving like that around my kid whether or not they are playing in the yard or side walk. I don't like my kids playing in the street obviously, but children will run after balls, squirrels you name it. Whether I'm out front with them or not, it wouldn't stop this an accident in time. These are children for goodness sakes, calm down.

Jacksonville, FL

#55 Jul 11, 2013
Deon wrote:
I cannot understand anyone who thinks it is ok for children to play in the streets. This is unsafe and irresponsible, For once really think about children's safety.
Children don't play in the streets but they do run after balls, animals, people and God forbid someone hits them because they don't pay attention or are driving too fast, or yes, even if they are old and shouldn't be driving. No one cares about your kids but you and yes I will put a slow down sign in the middle of the street if I have people driving through.

Jacksonville, FL

#56 Jul 11, 2013
Jonah Chavarria wrote:
I hate these fxckn signs! Every @$$hole that has them puts them out in the middle of the road taking over part of a lane, tell me that's not hazardous when two cars are coming at the same time then what you gotta make sure you go slow and let one in at a time? Fxk you stupid parents! Not only that but some of the @$$holes in my neighborhood have a front yard but still feel the need to OWN the road like its theirs! I road my skateboard through one of them when his kids were even out in the street and he yelled at me! Fxk that guy when I came back around I knocked both of them over and he CUSSED me out in front of his kids! Go to a park next time its not the drivers that are lazy its the fxk'n parents that own these signs! Yes I'm yelling as I type this you wanna fight about it??
Oh great another loser who will end up in jail. Lucky all he did is cuss you out, it would of been different at most homes and yes...children have the right away so YOU watch the f out

Waukegan, IL

#57 Jul 12, 2013
Yes but you were still going slow so u were able to stop in time. Point made
Mother and grandmother wrote:
To the parents who place these signs in the middle of the streets. Last week I was cautiously driving through my neighborhood. Two families have their signs in the middle of the road. Instead of my attention being focused on the children at play, it was focused on trying to manuever my car between the sign and the cars that were parked on the side of the street. A child darted into the road and I narrowly missed her by inches. Thanks be to God. As a mother and a grandmother I certainly understand your frustration and concern with the inconciderate idiots on the road. However, please keep your signs to the side of the street. I could have killed your child because of that sign and we'd all have to sleep with that.

Waukegan, IL

#58 Jul 12, 2013
my house is on a street off a main rd in our busy city at a four way stop sign corner. At the end of my street is a dominos pizza. Ive called their manager several times after watching their delivery drivers run or roll thru the stop signs while my kids and i are out playing in the yard and driveway. I see everyday people use this street as a dragway, speeding and squeeling their tires disrespectfully in a otherwise quiet neighborhood. Most people these days dont care about others and the surroundings and only want to show off, play music so everyone can here and be in an un nessesary hurry to "where ever". Put the phones down. Slow down. Turn the music to a decent level. Be respectful of your neighbors...kids or not. If.theres a sign go around it slowly. PARENTS put it their because of some reason or another and THEY care about their kids. Balls roll, bicycles are ridden and kids run. Look and listen. You hit a kid just ONCE and you will never forget it. The law wont let you. The parent of that kid wont let you and your concience wont either. Some complain on here but guess what, whine all you want. parents will do what ever.it takes to keep their kids safe.

Crestview, FL

#59 Jul 12, 2013
You are so right!!!!!
Tan wrote:
If those sign are not permitted than why are they sold?
Let me tell you why we buy them, it is because most people are not paying attention, texting or on their phones, or driving too fast. They are the ones that complain!!! Slow down in residential areas and there won't be any problems!
And yes, the street is a playground for our kids to play!!
If the police are being called out to access a situation, our city should be notified as well and they should take the time to put speed bumps in each and every single residential area instead of spending tax dollars on arguing about school boundaries!!

Crestview, FL

#60 Jul 12, 2013
Bottom line...slow down!

Coeur D Alene, ID

#61 Aug 4, 2013
I get it if you have idiots driving through the neighborhood; but what if you don't?
If everyone drives 25mph on the residential street, you have a wide sidewalk on both sides of the street for bicycles, and 2 huge parks with B-Ball courts, soccer & baseball fields less than a 3 min walk away; then what is the excuse for still blocking traffic with your stupid signs??
Is that not being a lazy parent? Sitting on the sidewalk watching your toddlers ride in the street is dangerous!
If I drive 25mph, am not texting, or under the influence and hit your kid by accident because he/she thinks its playground, I'll have my day in court; but you'll have a kid in the hospital, or worse. Is it worth it?
I've had kids run in the street and stop in the middle of the street and laugh because they find it amusing that they stopped traffic (while the parents just sit there and watch!) Some drivers have to honk to get the kids to move out of the way because they just stand there like morons while the 'parents'(more like donors) just watch and look at you like YOU'RE the one who's wrong. Like I said, I get it with idiot drivers, but you have to also take in the fact you have idiot 'parents' out there as well. And yes I have kids, they do not play in the street, they play in the yard, ride on the sidewalk, or play in the park.
Highway Department

York, PA

#62 Aug 10, 2013

The Children At Play signs are not a recommended sign anymore for two reasons:

1. The give a false sense of security to people to let their kids play in the street.

2. That false sense of security makes the municipal government liable for any injuries due to kids playing in the street and getting hit.

And the little green turtles are sold to give people that same false sense and if you put one out and somebody else's kid gets hurt then you can be held liable.

There is a reason that the Highway Departments and the Parks and Recreation Departments are separate. The street is not the playground.
Highway Department

York, PA

#63 Aug 10, 2013
Karlee wrote:
<quoted text>
Well said, no one understands that no matter how many times a person knocks down those signs they will be put back up! Plain and simple
That's what I like, Job Security, buy more signs so I can ride around in the air conditioned truck and pick them up and throw them in the dumpster. If it is left in the roadway it is trash.

Temecula, CA

#64 Aug 17, 2013
Any parent who thinks it is OK for their children to play in the street or for small children to play unsupervised in the front yard just because they place a sign is asking for the tragedy that may occur.

Get off your butts and supervise your children!

Temecula, CA

#65 Aug 17, 2013
Karlee wrote:
<quoted text>
Well said, no one understands that no matter how many times a person knocks down those signs they will be put back up! Plain and simple
Not if the driver performs a public service and removes the trash from the street.
John Galt

Temecula, CA

#66 Aug 17, 2013
had enough wrote:
my kids live and play from house to house and ride there bikes in the street and i would not have it any other way
they have been taught to watch for the cars and are aware of what goes on around them but it the asses that drive through them at 60 mph when the are waiting for the cars
we have done everything from wooden bumps to giant rocks in the road and nothing will slow the asses down but the sighs and bump do slow down the aveage person when driving through our street
I f it slows some down then it is working
So when a motorist hits your "giant rock" and is killed or seriously injured, your child safety problems will be solved because you will lose your home in the lawsuit and probably end up in prison where you belong.

Why not ask your local government to post legal speed limit signs and enforce the limits?

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