Keeping children safe in designated school zones is a top priority.
It is commonplace that during arrival and dismissal times, the roads around the schools are shared with bicycles and pedestrians. On top of this, there are school bus movements and parents dropping off or picking up children.
This results in a lot of activity near the school that can make it sometimes challenging to drive.
Each school zone in the City is marked with signs that define the beginning and end of each zone along the public street with posted reduced speed signs. As a driver the most important action you can do to help protect the children in school zones is to slow down and to be vigilant.
The City is currently undertaking a school safety review of all public schools within the corporate boundaries and identifying areas where improvements are needed.
This has included making sure signs are easy to see and properly located. A part of this effort, the City sought and was approved for a Traffic Safety Commission grant to install flashing lights at Sunnycrest Elementary school. These flashing lights are expected to be in place on 99th Avenue NE within the next four months.
The State too puts great importance in helping to emphasize by making it strict statewide laws specifically for school zones.
The 2010 Legislature imposed double fines for drivers who fail to stop for a pedestrian or bicyclist within a crosswalk that is marked in a designated school zone.
This act was an addition to double fines that were already in effect for speeding in school zones and illegally passing a school bus. It is a fine easy to avoid by just slowing down in a school zone during the affected hours.