(1) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, “student” means any public elementary school student whose grade level does not exceed grade 6.
(2) TRANSPORTATION; CORRECTION OF HAZARDS.—
(a) It is intended that district school boards and other governmental entities work cooperatively to identify conditions that are hazardous along student walking routes to school and that district school boards provide transportation to students who would be subjected to such conditions. It is further intended that state or local governmental entities having jurisdiction correct such hazardous conditions within a reasonable period of time.
(b) Upon a determination pursuant to this section that a condition is hazardous to students, the district school board shall request a determination from the state or local governmental entity having jurisdiction regarding whether the hazard will be corrected and, if so, regarding a projected completion date. State funds shall be allocated for the transportation of students subjected to such hazards, provided that such funding shall cease upon correction of the hazard or upon the projected completion date, whichever occurs first.
(3) IDENTIFICATION OF HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS.—When a request for review is made to the district school superintendent or the district school superintendent’s designee concerning a condition perceived to be hazardous to students in that district who live within the 2-mile limit and who walk to school, such condition shall be inspected by a representative of the school district and a representative of the state or local governmental entity that has jurisdiction over the perceived hazardous location. The district school superintendent or his or her designee and the state or local governmental entity or its representative shall then make a final determination that is mutually agreed upon regarding whether the hazardous condition meets the state criteria pursuant to this section. The district school superintendent or his or her designee shall report this final determination to the department.
(4) STATE CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING HAZARDOUS WALKING CONDITIONS.— (a) Walkways parallel to the road.—
1. It shall be considered a hazardous walking condition with respect to any road along which students must walk in order to walk to and from school if there is not an area at least 4 feet wide adjacent to the road, having a surface upon which students may walk without being required to walk on the road surface. In addition, whenever the road along which students must walk is uncurbed and has a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour, the area as described above for students to walk upon shall be set off the road by no less than 3 feet from the edge of the road.
2. The provisions of subparagraph 1. do not apply when the road along which students must walk:
a. Is in a residential area which has little or no transient traffic;
b. Is a road on which the volume of traffic is less than 180 vehicles per hour, per direction, during the time students walk to and from school; or
c. Is located in a residential area and has a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less.
(b) Walkways perpendicular to the road.—It shall be considered a hazardous walking condition with respect to any road across which students must walk in order to walk to and from school:
1. If the traffic volume on the road exceeds the rate of 360 vehicles per hour, per direction (including all lanes), during the time students walk to and from school and if the crossing site is uncontrolled. For purposes of this subsection, an “uncontrolled crossing site” is an intersection or other designated crossing site where no crossing guard, traffic enforcement officer, or stop sign or other traffic control signal is present during the times students walk to and from school.
2. If the total traffic volume on the road exceeds 4,000 vehicles per hour through an intersection or other crossing site controlled by a stop sign or other traffic control signal, unless crossing guards or other traffic enforcement officers are also present during the times students walk to and from school.
Traffic volume shall be determined by the most current traffic engineering study conducted by a state or local governmental agency.