Getting to school safely is important however your child gets there–whether walking, biking, or being driven to school.
Walking or biking with your child to school is the best way to get there and have your child be prepared. Not only is an easy way to get necessary exercise, but it can improve concentration, which leads to better school success (see one article on this here.) Doing it safely is paramount, even with its other benefits.
Even if you drive your kids to school each day, there are best practices to make sure that they arrive and leave school securely and that other students can also be free from danger, too. Below are some great tips to help.
Walking or biking to school
Don’t forget to wear a buckled helmet each time you ride, and make sure your bike has reflectors and lights if you are riding at dusk or dawn times.
Only cross in crosswalks, never in the middle of the block. Cyclists are currently required to dismount when usig a crosswalk.
Cyclists should yield to walkers when crossing the crosswalk. Pedestrians should always watch for traffic, even in a crosswalk.
Pay attention–don’t be on your phone or listening to music when walking or biking.
Cars sometimes block the bike lane. Cyclists should use the sidewalk if the bike lane is blocked.
Dropping off your child at school
It’s not always possible to walk or bike to school, such as if you live more than a mile from your child’s school. Try to carpool or use public transit, but if you can’t, here are some ways to keep your child and other students safe.
Always use the lanes provided at the school for dropoff, and do not drop off your child on the curb of the street in front of the school.
Don’t let your child cross the parking lot to reach you. Always pick up at the school curb so they do not have to.
Always maintain a 3 foot distance from cyclists. Do not idle in a marked bike lane while waiting to turn in–this is illegal.
When dropping off at the school, pull all the way forward in the dropoff lane. This prevents dangerous traffic backups.
Watch for pedestrians and cyclists, especially near crosswalks. Slow down or stop when in doubt.
We hope these tips will help you to get your child to school safely this fall and all year!
Please consult your school’s administration for more specifics on their rules for walking, biking, and dropping off in a car.
This information is intended to be informational and encouragement only and should not be considered valid in a court of law. For more information on traffic safety laws, please see the California DMV Driver’s handbook here.