“Our mission is to increase the safety and awareness in school zones,” said Senior Code Enforcement Officer Sara Shreves. “We are particularly emphasizing safe driving and parking habits. Parents and caregivers who drive on campus and in neighborhoods near schools can play an important role in keeping children safe by following proper driving practices.”
“At arrival and dismissal times, drivers are often in a hurry and distracted, which can lead to unsafe conditions for students and others walking, bicycling and driving in the area,” Shreves added.
To ensure the safest possible environment for students, City staff will be on-site at various schools during arrival and dismissal times and will issue warnings for violations for the first two weeks. After two weeks have passed, citations will be issued to violators.
“The most common violation is double parking,” Shreves said. “It adds to traffic congestion and you end up with a lot of students dodging in and out of cars to get to class.”
“We are working closely with the school to get the word out about the importance of safe driving practices,” she said.
Tips for smart driving around schools
Some helpful tips to keep in mind when driving around schools include:
- Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits, both in school zones and in neighborhoods surrounding schools.
- Comply with local school drop-off and pick-up procedures for the safety of all children attending the school.
- Do not double park or stop on crosswalks to let children out of the car. Double parking blocks visibility for other children and other motorists. Visibility is further reduced during the rain when condensation forms on car windows.
- Avoid loading or unloading children at locations across the street from the school. This forces youngsters to unnecessarily cross busy streets — often mid-block rather than at a crosswalk.
- Prepare to stop for a school bus when overhead yellow lights are flashing. Drive with caution when you see yellow hazard warning lights flashing on a moving or stopped bus.
- Stop for a school bus with its red overhead lights flashing, regardless of the direction from which the driver is approaching. Drivers must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion and the red lights stop flashing, or until signaled by the school bus driver to proceed.
- Watch for children walking or bicycling — both on the road and the sidewalk — in areas near a school.
- Watch for children playing and gathering near bus stops. Watch for children arriving late for the bus, who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
- Watch for children walking or biking to school when backing up (out of a driveway or leaving a garage).
For more information, contact parking enforcement at 661-267-5436.