Transportation FAQ

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Below are the answers to the questions we are asked most frequently.  Hopefully, you will find the information you need on this page, but if your question isn't listed here or if you need additional information, please contact us.  

  • How do I know if my car seat is still safe to use after being involved in a car accident?

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has made a change in previous policy regarding replacing child safety seats involved in a crash. Visit site to help parents or caregivers understand the revision and the reasons behind it.
  • What is the safest way for me to transport my child in a vehicle seat?

    • Infants should ride in rear facing safety seats as long as possible.
    • Children who are at least 1-year-old, weigh 20-40 pounds, and can no longer ride rear-facing due to reaching the height or weight limit of their rear facing seat should ride in forward facing child safety seats.
    •  Children over 40 pounds should be correctly secured in belt positioning boosters or other appropriate child restraints until the adult lap and shoulder belts fit correctly (around age 8).
    • Once the vehicle safety belts fit children, both lap and shoulder belts should be correctly used.
    • Children 12 and under should be properly restrained in the back seat.
    • Any safety seat must be installed and used according to the manufacturer's instructions and your vehicle owner's manual.
  • Which child safety seat is the safest?

    There is not yet a credible rating system for child safety seats in place. Since all current child safety seats must meet the same standards, you may want to visit a store with a wide variety of child safety seats and ask the manager if he/she will let you install the store's display models in your car. Most stores are fairly receptive to the idea of bringing one model at a time to your vehicle. Ask these three questions about each model you consider:

    1. Does it fit your child? Check the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that your child is within the allowable weight and height ranges for a specific safety seat, and that he/she also meets the recommended age development characteristics. Some general guidelines are that:
      • Infants should ride in rear-facing safety seats as long as possible, until they are at least 12 months old AND weigh at least 20 pounds.
      •  Children who are at least 1 year old and weigh 20-40 pounds should ride in forward-facing child safety seats (if they can no longer ride rear-facing).
      • Children over 40 pounds should be correctly secured in belt-positioning boosters or other appropriate child restraints until the adult lap and shoulder belts fit correctly (around age 8). 
    2. Does it fit your vehicle(s)? - Not all child safety seats can be correctly installed in all seating positions of all vehicles. Be sure to read both the child safety seat and vehicle instructions. In general, a correctly installed child safety seat should not move more than 1 inch side to side or forward, when pulled at the safety belt path. 
    3. Will you use it consistently and correctly? - Different child safety seats vary in design and features. It is important to choose one that you and your child are comfortable with, and that you will correctly install and adjust for every ride.
  • Why should I be concerned with using a second-hand safety seat?

    There are several issues surrounding used child safety seats, so in general they are not recommended. Here are a few of the concerns: 

    • The full history of a second-hand safety seat may be unknown. It may have been damaged in a previous crash, weakened by inappropriate use and storage, or otherwise compromised. 
    • All of the original parts, instructions and labels may not be present and in good condition. Parts substituted from other models are inappropriate, as are other user modifications, and can compromise the safety of the seat.
    • The safety seat may be recalled. Missing or damaged labels may make that difficult to assess, and determining whether a recalled part has been repaired or replaced can also be difficult. 
    • The safety seat may be too old. Most manufacturers agree that a safety seat that is more than six years old should not be used. This is primarily due to the facts that performance standards frequently change and incorporating new technologies protect children better. In addition, replacement parts and instructions may no longer be available for older safety seats, and manufacturers may no longer be in business. 
  • Why do you recommend booster seats for children up to age 8?

    Arizona law requires an appropriate safety seat up to the age 8 unless a child is more than 4 feet 9 inches tall (57 inches).  This height is used because that is considered to be the standard by which a vehicle seat belt should fit correctly. 

    While most families are used to the idea of keeping kids in safety seats until they are around 5 years old, many are not aware that children need safety seats much longer than that. Vehicle safety belts are designed to protect adults and older children, and they must fit correctly to provide that function.

    Looking at current vehicle designs, child growth patterns/charts, and general lessons learned through observation, many advocates have concluded that vehicle safety belts don't fit until kids are 8, 9, 10 or even 11 years old. As a result of this fact, combined with the fact that boosters are not yet widely used, we see a great number of serious (and fatal) injuries to children. Internal organ and spinal column injuries often result from improper belt fit.

  • How do I know when my child is ready to graduate from a booster seat to a safety belt alone?

    Children should ride in boosters until at least age 8 or they are 4 feet 9 inches and the vehicle safety belts fit correctly. Correct fit means: 

    • The child can sit all the way back against the vehicle seat, with knees bent comfortably over the edge.
    • The lap belt remains snugly across the bony areas of the lower hips/upper thighs (not the soft abdomen).
    • The shoulder belt remains snugly positioned across the chest and collarbone. 

    If any of these criteria are not met, it is likely that the child needs a belt-positioning booster seat. 

  • Where can I find a low cost or free child safety seat?

    Mesa Fire and Medical Department does not provide free car seats.  Please visit:

  • What are traffic engineers doing to help older drivers?

    The increasing needs of older motorists are becoming apparent as a greater proportion of our nation's motorists fall into the 65 or older age group.  The natural aging process results in a steady decrease in the abilities needed to perform the driving task. 

    The affect of aging upon vision, hearing, coordination, range of movement, strength, attentiveness, and response time have been well documented through research. Concerns over how these limitations affect motorists has resulted in several research studies that document both these limitations and that (sometimes) make recommendations that could off-set these limitations. 

    The most recent of these large studies resulted in the January 1998 publication of the Older Driver Highway Design Handbook, by FHWA.  The recommendations found in this handbook were strongly reflected in the Millennium edition of the Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which became the law of the land for most Cities, Counties and States on January 16, 2001.

    In addition to new standards in the MUTCD, and as a result of the above referenced handbook and previous research studies, traffic control signs have gotten larger, more legible, incorporate more symbols, and have more reflectivity. 

    Traffic signal faces have also gotten larger, are better located within fields of view, and longer walking times for pedestrians are becoming common, as are pedestrian refuge islands, and other safer provisions for pedestrians. 

  • Do you perform car seat safety checks?

    The Transportation Department does not currently perform these checks. The Mesa Fire Department inspects car seats by appointment only, call 480-644-2200 to make an appointment.
  • How can I get a copy of the current bus schedule in Mesa?

    Visit the Valley Metro web site for a current bus schedule and fare rates. 
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of speed humps or cushions?


    Significant reduction of travel speeds at or near the devices. For effective speed reduction, a series of devices is needed along long, straight streets.

    Inability to reduce travel speeds to a desired level for the neighborhood.

    The devices provide 24-hour, year-round service in an attempt to control high travel speeds along residential streets.

    Will increase response times for emergency vehicles into area. Speed cushions have less of an impact than speed humps, but may still slow emergency vehicles.

    May discourage cut-through traffic that is using residential streets due to congested conditions on an adjacent arterial or major collector street.

    Traffic diversion may cause increased volumes on other streets within the neighborhood.

    Average daily traffic volumes may decrease on residential streets thus reassigning traffic volumes to appropriate street classification usage (collector, arterial).

    Increased noise level due to vehicle shifting cargo and acceleration/deceleration at the device.

  • What is the difference between a speed hump and speed cushions?

    Speed humps span the entire street width. They have a curved profile and a height of 3". Speed cushions are modified speed humps which we use on streets that have been designated as an emergency fire route. They are divided into sections to allow vehicles with a larger wheel base, such as a fire truck or ambulance, to straddle them while having less of an impact on their response time. For more information regarding speed humps and cushions, go to this page.

  • How can I request a speed hump or speed cushions?

    To be eligible for speed humps or cushions, a street must meet certain conditions.  Three of the key conditions are that the street is not an arterial or major collector, the 85th percentile speed is at least 8 m.p.h. over the speed limit, and a neighborhood survey must confirm at least 70% approval from the affected property owners. At this time, residents requesting speed humps or cushions must pay the cost for speed counts.  A new policy was approved by the City Manager in January 2013. View the speed hump policy (PDF document, 8 pages) and all of the conditions that must be satisfied before speed humps or cushions may be installed on a street.  For more information, contact Traffic Studies at 480-644-2160. 
  • How do I reduce speeding in my neighborhood?

    For traditional enforcement, contact the Mesa Police Department at 480-644-3533 or submit a Traffic Enforcement Request Form.  In addition to traditional enforcement, the Police Department offer two community programs to curb neighborhood speeding:  the Speed Trailer and the Block Watch Program. 

    For more information on the Neighborhood Watch program, please visit Neighborhood Watch page.  Speed trailer information can be found on the Police FAQs page.

  • How do I get a stop sign at a tee intersection?

    Stop signs are not needed to assign the right of way at tee intersections in Arizona.  Arizona state law requires the drivers on the terminating street to yield to drivers on the continuing street.  Stop signs may be installed if a traffic study indicates a stop sign would improve safety.  To request a study of the intersection, contact Traffic Studies at 480-644-2160. 
  • How do I get a left turn arrow?

    A study can be requested of the intersection, which involves analyzing data and taking traffic counts. Contact Traffic Studies at 480-644-2160 to request a study
  • How do I get a traffic signal installed at my intersection?

    A study can be requested of the intersection, which involves analyzing data and taking traffic counts. Contact Traffic Studies at 480-644-2160 to request a study
  • Does the Transportation Department operate red light cameras?

    The City of Mesa Transportation Department is not responsible for the red light cameras. They are a part of the Mesa Police Department's photo safety program. Any questions should be directed to the Mesa Police Department
  • Why are there cameras on top of some of the traffic signals?

    Cameras are in place at several locations throughout Mesa. Some are used to monitor traffic conditions, while others are used to detect the presence of vehicles at an intersection, thereby providing service and extended green time.  The devices located on top of the traffic signal head, at the end of the mast arm and over the roadway aren't cameras, although most people think they are.  These are fire preemption devices.  Approximately two-thirds of Mesa's traffic signals are equipped with fire preemption. Fire department vehicles have special coded transmitters that trigger the system. This equipment makes the traffic signal give the green indication to the approaching fire vehicle to help emergency services personnel arrive quickly and safely to where they're needed.
  • How are pedestrian crosswalks timed?

    The WALK (man), the flashing DON'T WALK (flashing orange hand),  and the steady DON'T WALK (steady orange hand) symbols make up the pedestrian timing.  The WALK signal indicates that it's alright to begin crossing the street.  The flashing DON'T WALK signal indicates that you should not begin to cross the street, but should continue safely across the intersection.  The steady DON'T WALK signal indicates that you should not begin to cross and that you should complete your crossing and get out of the intersection as quickly as possible.

    The WALK interval is usually very short, sometimes as brief as six seconds.  The flashing DON'T WALK timing is normally based on the crossing distance of an intersection and a person's average walking speed. 

    Not all crosswalks have pedestrian push buttons, but for those that do, the side street will remain green for a longer amount of time if the button is pushed.  Some of Mesa's streets are very wide, so it may take a greater amount of time for a person to cross them.

    In addition, some intersections do not have pedestrian push buttons, but do have pedestrian indications.  These locations are set to service the pedestrian every time the concurrent vehicle green indications are active.     

  • Why do left turn arrows only seem to work at certain times?

    Left turn arrows only come on when the controller equipment at the intersection recognizes that a vehicle is present. If a vehicle arrives too late to be detected, the intersection may skip the arrow.  Some left turn arrows use third car detection. This means that the left turn arrows operate when three or more vehicles are present in the left turn lane. Sometimes the detection equipment does not pick up a vehicle, or will place a constant call into the controller; if  you would like to report a left turn signal that does not seem to be functioning properly, please call Signal Systems at 480-644-2160. 
  • Why are traffic signals timed the way they are?

    Current timing is in place to provide safe and efficient movement of traffic.  Through its central traffic control system, traffic signals are timed to promote progression of traffic along the major streets, thereby reducing overall delay.  One may experience some delays on the minor streets to facilitate the progression on a heavier traversed street.  A significant amount of planning and effort goes into the timing of an intersection. We continue to monitor intersection timings and traffic flow and make adjustments as necessary. For more information on signal timing at a particular intersection, please call Signal Systems 480-644-2160. 
  • How do I report a traffic signal light out?

    You can either submit an online report or call our hotline at 480-644-2160. If possible, please let us know if the entire intersection is dark or just a single indication. For a single indication, please note which color bulb is out and also which direction the traffic signal is facing. Please also be willing to provide your name, phone number and address, in the event the technician needs to contact you with questions. 
  • How do I report a streetlight out?

    You can either submit an online report or call our hotline at 480-644-3191. When reporting a streetlight, please let us know your name, phone number and the address or precise location of the streetlight . Please also note whether the light is out, cycles on and off, or is burning during the day. Currently, the turn-around around time for repairing streetlights is 15 business days from the day it was reported.

     Please note that the City does not repair private lights such as lights in trailer parks, apartment complexes, private parking lots, private sub-Departments, gated communities, or on private property. These lights are usually the responsibility of the owners of the property or are maintained by Salt River Project.

    There are some areas in the City that have a City of Mesa mailing address but are not incorporated into the City. The City does not maintain the lights in these areas (examples of these are Dreamland Villa, Leisure World, Thunder Mountain). These lights are private or are maintained by Salt River Project.

    In addition, there are also some Special Improvement Districts (agreements between Maricopa County and Salt River Project before these areas were annexed into the City) in the City that have most of their streetlights repaired by Salt River Project. Some examples of these are: Apache Wells, Desert Sands, Arizona Skies, Golden Hills, Fountain of the Sun and Twin Knolls.

    For more information on streetlights maintained by SRP, call them at 602-236-8490.  Learn more about City streetlights. 

  • When can I drive on the street after slurry/seal coats?

    You cannot drive on the street until the barricades are removed. They start taking them down at 4:30pm. Once the barricades are removed, you can drive on the street.
  • How can I report a pothole?

    You can either submit an online report or call our hotline at 480-644-3038. When reporting a pothole, please let us know your name, phone number and the address or precise location of the pothole. 
  • Where can I find out about road construction in Mesa?

    Engineering lists current lane restrictions and closures within the City of Mesa. You can also visit the Arizona Department of Transportation or the Maricopa County Department of Transportation.
  • Where can I renew my driver's license or vehicle tags?

    The City of Mesa Transportation does not issue driver's licenses or vehicle tags. Contact the Arizona Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Department or call 602-252-0072. 
  • Do you issue or accept payment for parking tickets?

    No, the Transportation Department does not issue or accept payment for parking tickets.  These tickets are issued and processed through the Mesa Police Department or call the main number at 480-255-0072.