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UPDATE: Well, bust my britches:

You don’t have to drive far in a typical American town before you see it: A pictographic image of a child (implied to be a boy), perhaps chasing a ball, perhaps poised in midstride, perhaps atop a seesaw, perhaps with a jaunty cap, perhaps with a companion or parent. And then, some variation on these words: “Slow: Children at Play.” … Despite the continued preponderance of “Children at Play” on streets across the land, it is no secret in the world of traffic engineering that “Children at Play” signs—termed, with subtle condescension, “advisory signs”—have been proven neither to change driver behavior nor to do anything to improve the safety of children in a traffic setting. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program, in its “Synthesis of Highway Practice No. 139,” sternly advises that “non-uniform signs such as “CAUTION—CHILDREN AT PLAY,” “SLOW—CHILDREN,” or similar legends should not be permitted on any roadway at any time.”

Now here I was, all excited cuz this cute sign certifying the innocent fun-filled nature of my little corner of the world just got put up, and here’s this article telling me it’s a baby killer!

…. But wait. Read on, UD

It’s also not uncommon to see “Children at Play” signs in the presence of 35 mph speed-limit signs, which is roughly akin to trying to put out fire with gasoline. It’s not simply that fatality risks begin to soar at impact speeds of more than 20 mph, but that, as a study by John Wann and colleagues at Royal Holloway University in London has suggested, children, until well into their teens, are unable to detect during a normal crossing of the street the approaching speed and distance of cars above a threshold—also 20 mph. This study adds legitimacy to the increasingly popular idea, as introduced in the U.K. in 1991, that residential areas be designated as 20 mph zones. (Research by the Transport Research Laboratory has found, among other things, a 60 percent crash reduction during the “after” period in 20 mph zones.)

And hold on! I’m going out there right now to take another picture!

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