Pencil boxes are fully stocked, brown bag lunches carefully arranged, and a new pair of sneakers can only mean one thing: back to school time! Though school started last Tuesday, we are still hearing comments from parents and residents about congestion around schools, especially elementary schools. To help you ease into and prepare for the school year, below are resources offering traffic safety tips, updates, and upcoming events!
Check out last year’s Back to School edition!
Traffic Safety Tips:
Whether you are driving, walking, biking, or taking the bus, please exercise caution and travel safely.
- Slow down
- Pay attention while driving; don’t be distracted by using electronic devices or cell phones
- When beacons are flashing or children are present the speed limit is 20 mph
- Stop for pedestrians and children getting on and off school buses
- Remember to be aware of your surroundings while turning or changing lanes
- Stop completely at all intersections
- Pedestrians should use crosswalk
School Fines Doubled in Elementary School Zones
Did you know fines double in school zones? Around elementary schools when children are present or when yellow beacons are flashing, you are subject to higher fines when cited speeding or other moving infractions.
Speaking of school zone flashing beacons, you have probably seen them around Bellevue and Issaquah (Cougar Ridge and Sunset Elementary Schools are part of the Issaquah School District but located in Bellevue) elementary schools. The list that has beacons is increasing this year as the City received state grant funding to install beacons in three new locations: Cherry Crest, Cougar Ridge, and Bennett elementary schools. Installation should occur before the end of the year.
Generally, the flashing beacons begin to flash about a half hour before school starts and continues for 10 minutes after the first bell (see full schedule). The beacons resume flashing in the afternoon 10 minutes prior to dismissal time followed by an additional 30 minutes.
Walking School Bus
A walking school bus can make your commute smoother and also encourage children to lead a more active lifestyle. A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. Volunteers in the neighborhood work with one another to create a schedule and timetable of all the planned meetings spots. Much like waiting for a school bus, children wait at their designated stop until the walking school bus arrives. They then join the walking group and pick up more students until they reach the school.
Walk to School Day is on October 9 when schools all over the world encourage children to Walk to School that day. This year, the City will be coordinating with elementary schools to set up activities that may increase visibility and accessibility of children walking to school.
This year, the City of Bellevue is coordinating with Bellevue School District Elementary Schools to plan for Walk to School Day. If your school agrees to participate, additional information about Walk to School Day events will come directly from your school or PTSA.