By Rob Baquera,
Public Information Officer at
Roseville Police Department
It’s that time of year again when parents and children in Roseville are preparing for the beginning of a new school year. It is a hectic and exciting time. Before that first bell rings, adults need to review some safety tips when driving in a school zone, and parents need to go over some basic safety tips with their children.
Driving in a School Zone
During summer, many drivers get out of the habit of driving around schools when children are present. If you drive near a school during the beginning or end of the school day, you need to take extra precautions. Here are a few tips to remember.
ALWAYS obey school zone speed limits. California Vehicle Code § 22352 covers speed limits in a school zone. When driving within 500 to 1,000 feet of a school while children are outside or crossing the street, the speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted. Also, if the school grounds have no fence and children are outside, never drive faster than 25 mph. Some school zones may have speed limits as low as 15 mph.
Be attentive when driving near schools. Put down the cell phone and other electronics. Children are unpredictable and can run out into traffic at any moment.
Be careful at crosswalks. Now that school is in session, it is time to double-check those intersections. Make sure to make a full stop at stop signs. Making a full stop will give you ample time to make sure the crosswalk is clear before proceeding.
Every school has a specific procedure for dropping and picking up students. Make sure you know what your child’s school requires before the first day.
Watch out for school buses and their flashing red lights. California Vehicle Code §22454 (a) prohibits a driver from passing a school bus when the bus has stopped for the purpose of loading or unloading school children; and, the bus displays flashing red lights and/or a stop signal arm. Drivers must remain stopped until the flashing red signals and/or stop signal arm are no longer displayed. This rule applies to both motorists following a school bus, and drivers that are approaching a school bus from the opposite direction on a two-lane road. This does not apply to motorists traveling in the opposite direction of a school bus if the road has two or more lanes traveling in the same direction.
Preparing Children for a New School Year
As the beginning of the school year draws closer, children need to start getting back into the routine of school. They may have forgotten many of the school safety rules over the summer break. So, make sure to set aside some time to sit down and review some with them.
Children should know their address, phone number with area code, and their parents’ full names.
Whether walking, biking, or riding the bus to school, teach children to obey all traffic signals, signs, traffic officers, and safety patrols. Caution them to be extra careful when there is heavy traffic before and after school.
Teach your child if they need help at school to go to a “trusted adult” such as a teacher, principal, nurse, or librarian.
Remind your child not to go anywhere with anyone without asking the adult who is in charge of them first. Additionally, parents should avoid writing their child’s name on clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes, etc. where it is visible. You do not want a stranger to call out to your child by name. Instead, label personal belongings on the inside.
Starting a new school year is exciting, but it can also be stressful. You can get your child’s school year off to a great start by reviewing safety tips with them before the first day. Then, make sure you know the rules for driving in a school zone. Let’s make sure all students get to school safely.