Can We Have Deaf, Blind or Autistic Child Warning Signs On Our Street?
The city is reluctant to install these warning signs for the following reasons:
A deaf, blind, or autistic child sign does not describe to the motorist where the child might be. Most streets within a residential neighborhood have children who react in the same way, and each driver must be aware of all children within a residential neighborhood.
Signs such as these provide both children and parents with a false sense of security, and a feeling that these children are safe when playing on or near a street, when playing in the street is obviously an unsafe practice at any time.
Many attempts to attract the driver's attention through the use of unique and unusual signs have been made. Some examples include children at play, domestic animal crossings, and some odd-value advisory safe speed signs. Usually these unique signs are installed as a result of emotional and political pressure.
Unfortunately, the novelty effect soon wears off, the signs become just another part of the landscape, and the signs no longer attract the attention of motorists who regularly pass by them. Their use is discouraged because of both the lack of proven effectiveness and undesirable liability issues. In fact federal standards (the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) strongly discourage the use of such non-uniform signs.