Hillsborough safety advocates test new IRAP app to inspire road safety changes around schools

IRAP app tested to improve roads near schools
Posted at 6:10 AM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 06:10:59-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Organizations dedicated to children's safety are testing a new app designed to spot traffic trouble spots around schools in Hillsborough County.

Safe Kids of Greater Tampa and St. Joseph's Children's Hospital are beta testing a new app that could help give Hillsborough County leaders a much better idea of what needs to be done to make roads safer around schools.

They will be testing the IRAP app, which stands for International Road Assessment Program, around Chamberlain High School. IRAP helps set the star rating for school road safety.

Advocates will be using the app for data such as how many sidewalks are around the school, the number of safe access points to cross, the number of lanes there are in the roads around the school, street lighting, parking and more.

"Is this a safe area," said Deborah Sickmon, a pediatric wellness and safety expert from Safe Kids of Greater Tampa. "We're going to look at vehicular flow. We're going to look at the traffic patterns and pedestrian flow."

After 48 hours, Safe Kids of Greater Tampa said the app takes that data and generates a recommendation of what road safety changes could be made around the school. These changes can be made either by the school itself or city or county leaders.

Chamberlain High School is already on the top ten school safety list for Hillsborough County Schools with dangerous walking conditions.

Three years ago, a high school student, Alexis Miranda, died crossing Busch Boulevard to get to Chamberlain High School. She was not in a crosswalk.

If the beta test at Chamberlain High School on Wednesday is successful, Sickmon said it could be used to make recommendations on how to improve roads around dozens of Hillsborough County Schools.