Citizens frequently file traffic complaints with the [city] Police Department about traffic problems where they live.
Most traffic complaints revolve around traffic going too fast in a residential area. Sometimes complaints include the fact that traffic is going too fast for children to play in the street.
In suburban America, many people think that playing in the street is almost a birthright. Many of us used the street growing up to play ball, roller skate, ride a bike off a ramp, etc.
The fact of the matter is that streets are primarily for the movement of vehicles. Pedestrians are allowed to cross the street at an intersection or crosswalk when they have right of way, or walk along the left side of the street if there is no sidewalk.
Any other pedestrian traffic on a street is illegal and unsafe, including children playing in the street. Such activity should be discouraged by parents.
A police officer may issue a citation to a pedestrian for illegally being in the roadway. Most children who play in the roadway are too young to be criminally responsible for their own behavior, so it falls on parents to be sure to keep their children off the road.
The prima facie (presumed) speed limit in a residential area inside the city limits has been determined by the state to be 30 mph. The state has determined that speed is generally a safe speed for most conditions.
Of course, that speed is no longer safe if there are people in the roadway. That is especially true of children who are not as experienced as adults at traffic safety. This issue usually does not come to the public’s attention until after a tragedy occurs, but the hope of the police department is for public awareness without a tragedy.