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Safe Back to School
updated: Aug 16, 2011, 3:01 PM

Source: CHP

As school swings back into session, the California Highway Patrol would like to remind drivers of a few important safety tips to help keep children safe. In addition to obeying the posted speed limits in school zones, drivers will need to be alert for children and crossing guards and make sure they are completely across the street before proceeding. Also, drivers should pay special attention when backing out of a driveway or exiting a garage for children walking or biking to school. Distracted driving (talking on cell phones, operating electronic devices, reading, eating, etc.) is often the primary cause of collisions, and more than 20% of injury collisions in California were caused by distracted or inattentive drivers in 2009.

Remember to obey the "flashing signal light system" used by school bus drivers to alert motorists of pending actions: Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is slowing down and preparing to stop. Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off. Vehicle Code Section 22454 (a) requires drivers to stop for a school bus when the bus is stopped with its red lights flashing and stop signal arms activated, and to pass only after the red lights and control arms cease operation. Drivers of vehicles on a divided highway or multiple-lane highway (designed for two or more lanes of travel in each direction) need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus that is upon the other roadway. Violations of Section 22454 (a) VC are not only serious - they are expensive too. The fine, with court assessments included, is $690.

Parents should encourage their children to always walk or bike with a buddy, walk on the sidewalk, never run out from between parked cars, and only cross the street at a crosswalk. Bicyclists should be reminded they are required to ride in the same direction as traffic, and they are not allowed to transport passengers unless the bike is equipped with a second seat. Bicyclists under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.

Parents are also reminded to follow the instructions provided by each school to drop off and pick up your children in a safe and orderly manner, and to obey the direction of school parking monitors who are there to ensure everyone's safety.

Returning to school is an exciting, yet hectic time for students, teachers, parents and other motorists, which may require an adjustment in driving habits. While we share your enthusiasm at the beginning of this school year, we remind you it is the responsibility of all of us who drive to keep our roadways safe.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 204552 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-08-16 03:34 PM

Get off your cell phones and SLOW DOWN !!!!


 COMMENT 204558 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-08-16 03:46 PM

Unfortunately one of the biggest safety risks at drop off and pick up time during school is often from the parents themselves! When my girls were in elementary, junior high and high school, daily I saw parents simply stop in the middle of the road to let their children out or pick them up. It never seemed to matter that they were impeding traffic or that it was much safer to pull to the curb rather than let their child out in the middle of the street. At pick up time, again daily I saw parents actually wave their children to the middle of the street to get them to hurry into the car so the parents could avoid having to park. I saw this even at the elementary school level! Unfortunately no tickets were ever given or even warnings that I saw from the police to the parents. I have often wondered if the parents would find the time to park at drop off and pick up if they knew doing otherwise would cost them monetarily.


 COMMENT 204587 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-08-16 04:59 PM

Parents dropping of little Tiffany and Hunter often are so busy making they are safe, they forget about the other humans on the planet. I have had many a vehicle pull in front of me as the mother watches to make sure Tiffany and Hunter are not kidnapped at the kerb.


 COMMENT 204597 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-08-16 05:07 PM

The posts so far are right on. Parents please remember to go slowly while on school campuses...Many of the drivers at La Colina go way too fast. Remember, go slow!


 COMMENT 204621 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-08-16 06:56 PM

If you are driving down Cathedral Oaks on your way to Dos Pueblos HS, slow down for the Brandon Drive/Brandon School cross walk.

People driving can not see people crossing and people crossing can not see drivers until they get in the middle of the street.

But the center divider sure is full of pretty plants, like 5-6 foot tall agaves.


 COMMENT 204630P agree helpful negative off topic

2011-08-16 07:29 PM

I see kids all the time (mostly 12ish year old boys) on Old San Marcos Rd. riding with helmets but the straps aren't latched! Won't do them much good.


 COMMENT 204662 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-08-16 09:34 PM

Please slow down on Alamar!! Power moms in SUV's are intense. Leave earlier, drive more slowly, enjoy the beauty of our town and the company of your children.

Also, children do as you do not as you say. How can you say "obey the law" when you talk on the phone and/or speed?


 COMMENT 204884 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-08-17 01:28 PM

Parents and teachers are ruining our neighborhoods.


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